Surely Goodness And Mercy Quotes

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The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. [Psalms 23]
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
[The Old Astronomer to His Pupil] Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet, When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet; He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how We are working to completion, working on from then to now. Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete, Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet, And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true, And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you. But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn, You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn, What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles; What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles. You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late, But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate. Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight; You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night. I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known. You 'have none but me,' you murmur, and I 'leave you quite alone'? Well then, kiss me, -- since my mother left her blessing on my brow, There has been a something wanting in my nature until now; I can dimly comprehend it, -- that I might have been more kind, Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind. I 'have never failed in kindness'? No, we lived too high for strife,-- Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life; But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still To the service of our science: you will further it? you will! There are certain calculations I should like to make with you, To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true; And remember, 'Patience, Patience,' is the watchword of a sage, Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age. I have sown, like Tycho Brahe, that a greater man may reap; But if none should do my reaping, 'twill disturb me in my sleep So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name; See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame. I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak; Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak: It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,-- God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.
Sarah Williams (Twilight Hours: A Legacy of Verse)
With time and perspective we recognize that such problems in life do come for a purpose, if only to allow the one who faces such despair to be convinced that he really does need divine strength beyond himself, that she really does need the offer of heaven’s hand. Those who feel no need for mercy usually never seek it and almost never bestow it. Those who have never had a heartache or a weakness or felt lonely or forsaken never have had to cry unto heaven for relief of such personal pain. Surely it is better to find the goodness of God and the grace of Christ, even at the price of despair, than to risk living our lives in a moral or material complacency that has never felt any need for faith or forgiveness, any need for redemption or relief.
Jeffrey R. Holland
Stop and say something good about yourself! Believe what you have just said! Pray for what you have just believed! Have faith for what you just prayed for! Work out that faith! ...and surely goodness and mercy shall follow you!
Israelmore Ayivor
I borrowed a hammer and the garage and disposed of both phones. I was pretty sure that I could have just pulled the batteries, but pretty sure wasn’t good enough, so I used a hammer.
Patricia Briggs (Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7))
Are we going to debate philosophy or should I just kiss and make up with the demon now? Let it get a good shot at your throat so it can rip it out? (Xypher) Put him down mercifully. (Kat) Yes, Queenie. I’ll make sure and use a cushioned blade. (Xypher)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #11))
And it had left me with a certain skill for managing enraged werewolves, which was a good thing, my foster father had told me often enough, since I sure had a talent for enraging them.
Patricia Briggs (Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3))
Always choose to be smart There are two types of people in the world, the seekers of riches and the wise thinkers, those who believe that the important thing is money, and those who know that knowledge is the true treasure. I, for my part, choose the second option, Though I could have everything I want I prefer to be an intelligent person, and never live in a game of vain appearances. Knowledge can take you far far beyond what you imagine, It can open doors and opportunities for you. and make you see the world with different eyes. But in this eagerness to be "wise", There is a task that is a great challenge. It is facing the fear of the unknown, and see the horrors around every corner. It's easy to be brave when you're sure, away from dangers and imminent risks, but when death threatens you close, "wisdom" is not enough to protect you. Because, even if you are smart and cunning, death sometimes comes without mercy, lurking in the darkest shadows, and there is no way to escape. That is why the Greek philosophers, They told us about the moment I died, an idea we should still take, to understand that death is a reality. Wealth can't save you of the inevitable arrival of the end, and just as a hoarder loses his treasures, we also lose what we have gained. So, if we have to choose between two things, that is between being cunning or rich, Always choose the second option because while the money disappears, wisdom helps us face dangers. Do not fear death, my friend, but embrace your intelligence, learn all you can in this life, and maybe you can beat time and death for that simple reason always choose to be smart. Maybe death is inevitable But that doesn't mean you should be afraid because intelligence and knowledge They will help you face any situation and know what to do. No matter what fate has in store, wisdom will always be your best ally, to live a life full of satisfaction, and bravely face any situation. So don't settle for what you have and always look for ways to learn more, because in the end, true wealth It is not in material goods, but in knowledge. Always choose to be smart, Well, that will be the best investment. that will lead you on the right path, and it will make you a better version of yourself.
Marcos Orowitz (THE MAELSTROM OF EMOTIONS: A selection of poems and thoughts About us humans and their nature)
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. PSALM 23:6 NKJV
Max Lucado (Grace for the Moment: Inspirational Thoughts for Each Day of the Year, Volume 1)
His lips were parted, lids heavy. This moment might not be about him and me, about two bodies unified in pleasure or anything profound, but goddamn he looked good. Looked exactly as he felt— strong and big and one hundred percent in control. And I felt exactly as he surely saw me, a hungry vessel, eager to please, at the mercy of his cock.
Cara McKenna (After Hours)
When I come to the Lord after I’ve blown it, I’ve only one argument to make. It’s not the argument of the difficulty of the environment that I am in. It’s not the argument of the difficult people that I’m near. It’s not the argument of good intentions that were thwarted in some way. I come to the Lord with only one appeal; his mercy. I’ve no other defense. I’ve no other standing. I’ve no other hope. I can’t escape the reality of my biggest problem; me! So I appeal to the one thing in my life that’s sure and will never fail. I appeal to the one thing that guaranteed not only my acceptance with God, but the hope of new beginnings and fresh starts. I appeal on the basis of the greatest gift I ever have or ever will be given. I leave the courtroom of my own defense, I come out of hiding and I admit who I am. But I’m not afraid, because I’ve been personally and eternally blessed. Because of what Jesus has done, God looks on me with mercy. It’s my only appeal, it’s the source of my hope, it’s my life. Mercy, mercy me!
Paul David Tripp (Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy)
You make sure you do something good with your life, you hear? Something that puts more beauty and more kindness into the world. And be a person of courage, my Kate. With a tender heart but a lot tougher hide.
Joy Jordan-Lake (A Tangled Mercy)
Do not say, 'But it is hypocritical to thank God with my tongue when I don't feel thankful in my heart.' There is such a thing as hypocritical thanksgiving. Its aim is to conceal ingratitude and get the praise of men. That is not your aim. Your aim in loosing your tongue with words of gratitude is that God would be merciful and fill your words with the emotion of true gratitude. You are not seeking the praise of men; you are seeing the mercy of God. You are not hiding the hardness of ingratitude, but hoping for the in-breaking of the Spirit. Thanksgiving with the Mouth Stirs Up Thankfulness in the Heart Moreover, we should probably ask the despairing saint, 'Do you know your heart so well that you are sure the words of thanks have no trace of gratitude in them?' I, for one, distrust my own assessment of my motives. I doubt that I know my good ones well enough to see all the traces of contamination. And I doubt that I know my bad ones well enough to see the traces of grace. Therefore, it is not folly for a Christian to assume that there is a residue of gratitude in his heart when he speaks and sings of God's goodness even though he feels little or nothing. To this should be added that experience shows that doing the right thing, in the way I have described, is often the way toward being in the right frame. Hence Baxter gives this wise counsel to the oppressed Christian: 'Resolve to spend most of your time in thanksgiving and praising God. If you cannot do it with the joy that you should, yet do it as you can. You have not the power of your comforts; but have you no power of your tongues? Say not that you are unfit for thanks and praises unless you have a praising heart and were the children of God; for every man, good and bad, is bound to praise God, and to be thankful for all that he hath received, and to do it as well as he can, rather than leave it undone.... Doing it as you can is the way to be able to do it better. Thanksgiving stirreth up thankfulness in the heart.
John Piper (When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God—And Joy)
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23 KJV
Martha Kilpatrick (Overcoming Self-hatred: A Hidden Hate that Lurks in Your Heart)
Mister God made everything, didn’t he?” There was no point in saying I didn’t really know. I said “Yes.” “Even the dirt and the stars and the animals and the people and the trees and everything, and the pollywogs?” The pollywogs were those little creatures we had seen under the microscope. I said, “Yes, he made everything.” She nodded her agreement. “Does Mister God love us truly?” “Sure thing,” I said. “Mister God loves everything.” “Oh,” she said. “well then, why does he let things get hurt and dead?” Her voice sounded as if she felt she had betrayed a sacred trust, but the question had been thought and it had to be spoken. “I don’t know,” I replied. “There’re a great many things about Mister God, we don’t know about?” “Well then,” she continued, “if we don’t know many things about Mister God, how do we know he loves us?” I could see this was going to be one of those times, but thank goodness she didn’t expect an answer to her question, for she hurried on: “Them pollywogs, I could love them till I bust, but they wouldn’t know, would they? I’m million times bigger than they are and Mister God is million times bigger than me, so how do I know what Mister God does?” She was silent for a little while. Later I thought that at this moment she was taking her last look at babyhood. Then she went on. “Fynn, Mister God doesn’t love us.” She hesitated. “He doesn’t really, you know, only people can love. I love Bossy, but Bossy don’t love me. I love the pollywogs, but they don’t love me. I love you Fynn, and you love me, don’t you?” I tightened my arm about her. “You love me because you are people. I love Mister God truly but he don’t love me.” It sounded to me like a death knell. “Damn and blast,” I thought. “Why does this have to happen to people? Now she’s lost everything.” But I was wrong. She had got both feet planted firmly on the next stepping stone. “No,” she went on, “no, he don’t love me, not like you do, its different, its millions of times bigger.” I must have made some movement or noise, for she levered herself upright and sat on her haunches and giggled. The she launched herself at me and undid my little pang of hurt, cut from the useless spark of jealousy with the delicate sureness of a surgeon. “Fynn, you can love better than any people that ever was, and so can I, cant I? But Mister God is different. You see, Fynn, people can only love outside, and can only kiss outside, but Mister God can love you right inside, and Mister God can kiss you right inside, so its different. Mister God ain’t like us; we are a little bit like Mister God, but not much yet.” It seemed to me to reduce itself to the fact that we were like God because of the similarities, but God was not like us because of our differences. Her inner fires had refined her ideas, and like some alchemist she had turned lead into gold. Gone were all the human definitions of God, like Goodness, Mercy, Love, and Justice, for these were merely props to describe the indescribable. “You see, Fynn, Mister God is different because he can finish things and we cant. I cant finish loving you because I shall be dead millions of years before I can finish, but Mister God can finish loving you, and so its not the same kind of love, is it?
Fynn (Mister God, This is Anna)
Do you need help with anything?" he asked with a wicked arched brow. "Maybe with cookies for Santa." Scowling because no one was here but us, I said, "You're a bit late for that. Santa already came." He hadn't moved, but I knew better than to think he would. Flynn was a pro at filling the bubble air space that was meant to be private and personal. "And were you a good girl?" he asked. Awkwardly folding my arms over my chest, I said, "Not sure, I haven't checked. But you needn't look. We all know you are all bad." Laughing, he said, "Yeah, well, there are other things worth unwrapping." Grinding my teeth, I asked, "What, you didn't get your Ho, Ho, Ho, last night?" Tossing back another full belly laugh, he said, "You know you're kind of funny when you want to be.
Shannon Dermott (Beg for Mercy (Cambion, #1))
This present world is a perfectly safe place for us to be.” That certainly is what Jesus, and the Bible as a whole, has to say to us. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Ps 23).
Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God)
I sell BMWs—I’m not sure if your mom told you?” No matter how good Alton was at selling stuff, he had nothing on my mom selling me on a new suitor. “They’re great cars. Sexy, stylish. Every man would love to drive one.” I watched as he arranged his face in a very practiced smolder. “Don’t say it,” I offered. “Just don’t say it.” “You remind me of a BMW.” “You said it.” I patted the bar in front of him. “Let me go get your tab.
Debra Anastasia (Mercy (Mercy #1))
I'll buy you a blow-up doll. I'm sure my mate won't mind when I explain how hard up you are." She didn't bother to punch him this time, just glared with promise of future retaliation. "Very funny. You wouldn't be laughing if you knew how sexually frustrated I am right now." [...] "The last time was when that SilverBlade sentinel was in town for a communications meeting." All amusement left Dorian's face. "You serious? That was months ago." A very long time to go without intimate touch. "Merce, that could get dangerous." "I know. Do you think I don't know?" She thrust her hands through her hair. "Damn it Dorian! It's getting to the point where I'm starting to wonder if some of the wolves would be good in bed. [...] "Cat and wolf isn't a ... um ... normal combination." "And Psy and cat is?" She made a face at him. "Yeah, yeah I know. Cat and wolf is strange." [...] "How about one of the Rats?" Dorian's eyes gleamed.
Nalini Singh (Hostage to Pleasure (Psy-Changeling, #5))
I am so glad Todd and I eloped,” she said sincerely. “There was no way to salvage the wreckage. But I think that you deserved this, and I'm very happy for you.” She leaned forward and kissed my cheek. Then she whispered, “He is really, really a hottie. How did you mange that?” “Brat,” I told her, and gave her a hug. “Todd’s not exactly chopped liver.” She smiled smugly and took another sip. “No he’s not.” “He could be,” said Ben from behind me, his British accent giving him a civilized air that he didn’t deserve. “Do you want him to be chopped liver, darling?” I turned, making sure I was between Ben and Nan, “My sisters are off-limits,” I reminded him. A flash of hurt came and went on his face. With Ben, it was even odds whether the emotion was genuine or not -but my instincts told me they had been. So I continued in a mock-chiding tone, “Ruthie is too young for you, and Nan is married to a very nice man. So be good.” Nan had caught the flash of hurt, too, I thought. She was softer than our mother, more like her father in temperament as well as looks. She couldn’t stand to have anyone hurting and not do anything about it. She sighed dramatically. “All the pretty men, and I’m tied to just one.” Ben smiled at her. “Anytime you want to change that…” I poked him in the side-he could have slipped out of the way, but he didn’t bother. “Okay,” he said, backing away with exaggerated fear. “Ill be good, I promise. Just don’t hurt me again.” He was loud enough that all the people around us looked at us. Adam pushed his way through the pack and ruffled Ben’s hair as he went by him. “Behave Ben.” The Ben I’d first met would have snarled and pulled away from the affectionate scold. This one grinned at me, and said, “Not if I can help it, I wont,” to Adam.
Patricia Briggs (River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6))
And this, I thought, was why Sam and Cole could not get along. Because when it came down to it, Cole made bad decisions for good reasons, and Sam couldn’t justify that. Now, Cole dangled this tempting thing in front of Sam, this thing he wanted more than anything, along with the thing that he wanted the least. I wasn’t sure which answer I wanted him to give.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
For why? The Lord our God is good’ His mercy is for ever sure; His truth at all times firmly stood, And shall from age to age endure.
John Bunyan (Pilgrim's Progress Part 2 in Contemporary English (Pilgrim's Progress in Contemporary English))
At that moment the universe appeared to me a vast machine constructed only to produce evil. I almost doubted the goodness of God, in not annihilating man on the day he first sinned. "The world should have been destroyed," I said, "crushed as I crush this reptile which has done nothing in its life but render all that it touches as disgusting as itself." I had scarcely removed my foot from the poor insect when, like a censoring angel sent from heaven, there came fluttering through the trees a butterfly with large wings of lustrous gold and purple. It shone but a moment before my eyes; then, rising among the leaves, it vanished into the height of the azure vault. I was mute, but an inner voice said to me, "Let not the creature judge his Creator; here is a symbol of the world to come. As the ugly caterpillar is the origin of the splendid butterfly, so this globe is the embryo of a new heaven and a new earth whose poorest beauty will infinitely exceed your mortal imagination. And when you see the magnificent result of that which seems so base to you now, how you will scorn your blind presumption, in accusing Omniscience for not having made nature perish in her infancy. God is the god of justice and mercy; then surely, every grief that he inflicts on his creatures, be they human or animal, rational or irrational, every suffering of our unhappy nature is only a seed of that divine harvest which will be gathered when, Sin having spent its last drop of venom, Death having launched its final shaft, both will perish on the pyre of a universe in flames and leave their ancient victims to an eternal empire of happiness and glory.
Emily Brontë (Devoirs de Bruxelles)
Now that you are living on such intimate terms with her, Gwyn has emerged as a slightly different person... She is both funnier and more salacious than you imagined, more vulgar and idiosyncratic, more passionate, more playful, and you are startled to realize how deeply she exults in filthy language and the bizarre slang of sex... Common twentieth-century words do not interest her. She shuns the term making love, for example, in favor of older, more hilarious locutions, such as rumpty-rumpty, quaffing, and bonker bang. A good orgasm is referred to as a bone-shaker. Her ass is a rumdadum. Her crotch is a slittie, a quim, a quim-box, a quimsby. Her breasts are boobs and tits, boobies and titties, her twin girls. At one time or another, your penis is a bong, a blade, a slurp, a shaft, a drill, a quencher, a lancelot, a lightning rod, Charles Dickens, Dick Driver, and Adam Junior... In the grip of approaching orgasm, however, she tends to revert to the contemporary standbys, falling back on the simplest, crudest words in the English lexicon to express her feelings. Cunt, pussy, fuck. Fuck me, Adam. Again and again. Fuck me, Adam. For an entire month you are the captive of that word, the willing prisoner of that word, the embodiment of that word. You dwell in the land of flesh, and your cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life.
Paul Auster (Invisible (Rough Cut))
But the heavy stroke which most of all distresses me is my dear Mother. I cannot overcome my too selfish sorrow, all her tenderness towards me, her care and anxiety for my welfare at all times, her watchfulness over my infant years, her advice and instruction in maturer age; all, all indear her memory to me, and highten my sorrow for her loss. At the same time I know a patient submission is my Duty. I will strive to obtain it! But the lenient hand of time alone can blunt the keen Edg of Sorrow. He who deignd to weep over a departed Friend, will surely forgive a sorrow which at all times desires to be bounded and restrained, by a firm Belief that a Being of infinite wisdom and unbounded Goodness, will carve out my portion in tender mercy towards me! Yea tho he slay me I will trust in him said holy Job. What tho his corrective Hand hath been streached against me; I will not murmer. Tho earthly comforts are taken away I will not repine, he who gave them has surely a right to limit their Duration, and has continued them to me much longer than deserved. I might have been striped of my children as many others have been. I might o! forbid it Heaven, I might have been left a solitary widow. Still I have many blessing left, many comforts to be thankfull for, and rejoice in. I am not left to mourn as one without hope. My dear parent knew in whom she had Believed...The violence of her disease soon weakned her so that she was unable to converse, but whenever she could speak, she testified her willingness to leave the world and an intire resignation to the Divine Will. She retaind her Senses to the last moment of her Existance, and departed the world with an easy tranquility, trusting in the merrits of a Redeamer," (p. 81 & 82).
Abigail Adams (My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams)
Many things in this period have been hard to bear, or hard to take seriously. My own profession went into a protracted swoon during the Reagan-Bush-Thatcher decade, and shows scant sign of recovering a critical faculty—or indeed any faculty whatever, unless it is one of induced enthusiasm for a plausible consensus President. (We shall see whether it counts as progress for the same parrots to learn a new word.) And my own cohort, the left, shared in the general dispiriting move towards apolitical, atonal postmodernism. Regarding something magnificent, like the long-overdue and still endangered South African revolution (a jagged fit in the supposedly smooth pattern of axiomatic progress), one could see that Ariadne’s thread had a robust reddish tinge, and that potential citizens had not all deconstructed themselves into Xhosa, Zulu, Cape Coloured or ‘Eurocentric’; had in other words resisted the sectarian lesson that the masters of apartheid tried to teach them. Elsewhere, though, it seemed all at once as if competitive solipsism was the signifier of the ‘radical’; a stress on the salience not even of the individual, but of the trait, and from that atomization into the lump of the category. Surely one thing to be learned from the lapsed totalitarian system was the unwholesome relationship between the cult of the masses and the adoration of the supreme personality. Yet introspective voyaging seemed to coexist with dull group-think wherever one peered about among the formerly ‘committed’. Traditionally then, or tediously as some will think, I saw no reason to discard the Orwellian standard in considering modern literature. While a sort of etiolation, tricked out as playfulness, had its way among the non-judgemental, much good work was still done by those who weighed words as if they meant what they said. Some authors, indeed, stood by their works as if they had composed them in solitude and out of conviction. Of these, an encouraging number spoke for the ironic against the literal mind; for the generously interpreted interest of all against the renewal of what Orwell termed the ‘smelly little orthodoxies’—tribe and Faith, monotheist and polytheist, being most conspicuous among these new/old disfigurements. In the course of making a film about the decaffeinated hedonism of modern Los Angeles, I visited the house where Thomas Mann, in another time of torment, wrote Dr Faustus. My German friends were filling the streets of Munich and Berlin to combat the recrudescence of the same old shit as I read: This old, folkish layer survives in us all, and to speak as I really think, I do. not consider religion the most adequate means of keeping it under lock and key. For that, literature alone avails, humanistic science, the ideal of the free and beautiful human being. [italics mine] The path to this concept of enlightenment is not to be found in the pursuit of self-pity, or of self-love. Of course to be merely a political animal is to miss Mann’s point; while, as ever, to be an apolitical animal is to leave fellow-citizens at the mercy of Ideolo’. For the sake of argument, then, one must never let a euphemism or a false consolation pass uncontested. The truth seldom lies, but when it does lie it lies somewhere in between.
Christopher Hitchens (For the Sake of Argument: Essays and Minority Reports)
FURIOUS FAVOR I wonder if David would be allowed in our churches today. In most cases, when a church member has an affair, he is shunned at best or mistreated at worst—even if he repents. But David doesn’t just have an affair. He lusts, covets, fornicates, lies, and gets another man hammered. Then he tries to keep his dirty little secrets by murdering the husband of the woman he “loves.” I doubt I’ve met anyone as sinful as David. Have you? He breaks half of the Ten Commandments in a single episode. And he doesn’t repent until he’s caught. But when Nathan shoves his prophetic finger into David’s chest and rebukes him, David falls to his knees and admits his guilt. And right then, at that moment, God rips open the heavens to reach down and touch David’s soul with stubborn delight. God eagerly forgives David for his sin, and all of it is buried at the bottom of the sea, never to be remembered again. There is no hiccup in God’s furious favor toward David. So why do repentant sinners still bear the stigma of “adulterer,” “divorced,” or “addict” in our churches today? It’s one thing if they don’t repent. But quite often we shun repentant sinners, like Jeffrey Dahmer, whose crimes we just can’t forget. “He’s the former addict.” “That’s the divorced mom.” “Here comes the guy who slept with the church secretary.” For some reason we love to define people by the sin in their lives—even past sin in their lives—rather than by the grace that forgave it. It’s no wonder that David pens the last sentence in Psalm 23: “Surely goodness and mercy shall [hunt me down] all the days of my life” (Ps. 23:6).
Preston Sprinkle (Charis: God's Scandalous Grace for Us)
I will  m fear no evil,     for  n you are with me;         your  o rod and your staff,         they comfort me.     5 You  p prepare a table before me         in  q the presence of my enemies;     you  r anoint my head with oil;         my  s cup overflows. 6    Surely [4] goodness and mercy [5] shall follow me         all the days of my life,     and I shall  t dwell [6] in the house of the LORD          u forever. [7] The King of Glory A Psalm of David.     PSALM 24  v The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, [1]         the world and those who dwell
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
You  p prepare a table before me         in  q the presence of my enemies;     you  r anoint my head with oil;         my  s cup overflows. 6    Surely [4] goodness and mercy [5] shall follow me         all the days of my life,     and I shall  t dwell [6] in the house of the LORD          u forever.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
Now, I've another errand for you,' said my untiring master; "you must away to my room again. What a mercy you are shod with velvet, Jane!--a clod-hopping messenger would never do at this juncture. You must open the middle drawer of my toilet-table and take out a little phial and a little glass you will find there,--quick!" I flew thither and back, bringing the desired vessels. "That's well! Now, doctor, I shall take the liberty of administering a dose myself, on my own responsibility. I got this cordial at Rome, of an Italian charlatan--a fellow you would have kicked, Carter. It is not a thing to be used indiscriminately, but it is good upon occasion: as now, for instance. Jane, a little water." He held out the tiny glass, and I half filled it from the water-bottle on the washstand. "That will do;--now wet the lip of the phial." I did so; he measured twelve drops of a crimson liquid, and presented it to Mason. "Drink, Richard: it will give you the heart you lack, for an hour or so." "But will it hurt me?--is it inflammatory?" "Drink! drink! drink!" Mr. Mason obeyed, because it was evidently useless to resist. He was dressed now: he still looked pale, but he was no longer gory and sullied. Mr. Rochester let him sit three minutes after he had swallowed the liquid; he then took his arm-- "Now I am sure you can get on your feet," he said--"try." The patient rose. "Carter, take him under the other shoulder. Be of good cheer, Richard; step out--that's it!" "I do feel better," remarked Mr. Mason. "I am sure you do.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely [4] goodness and mercy [5] shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell [6] in the house of the LORD forever.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (without Cross-References))
Psalm 23 The LORD the Shepherd of His People A Psalm of David. 1The LORD is †my shepherd; †I shall not awant. 2†He makes me to lie down in bgreen pastures; †He leads me beside the cstill waters. 3He restores my soul; †He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of †the shadow of death, †I will fear no evil; †For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5You †prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You †anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will ddwell in the house of the LORD eForever.
Anonymous (Holy Bible, New King James Version)
At first, in the early days of his power, he is full of smiles, and he salutes every one whom he meets;—he to be called a tyrant, who is making promises in public and also in private! liberating debtors, and distributing land to the people and his followers, and wanting to be so kind and good to every one! Of course, he said. But when he has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader. To be sure. Has he not also another object, which is that they may be impoverished by payment of taxes, and thus compelled to devote themselves to their daily wants and therefore less likely to conspire against him? Clearly. And if any of them are suspected by him of having notions of freedom, and of resistance to his authority, he will have a good pretext for destroying them by placing them at the mercy of the enemy; and for all these reasons the tyrant must be always getting up a war. He
Plato (The Republic)
You heard me. Let someone else send you to your blaze of glory. You're a speck, man. You're nothing. You're not worth the bullet or the mark on my soul for taking you out." You trying to piss me off again, Patrick?" He removed Campbell Rawson from his shoulder and held him aloft. I tilted my wrist so the cylinder fell into my palm, shrugged. "You're a joke, Gerry. I'm just calling it like I see it." That so?" Absolutely." I met his hard eyes with my own. "And you'll be replaced, just like everything else, in maybe a week, tops. Some other dumb, sick shit will come along and kill some people and he'll be all over the papers, and all over Hard Copy and you'll be yesterday's news. Your fifteen minutes are up, Gerry. And they've passed without impact." They'll remember this," Gerry said. "Believe me." Gerry clamped back on the trigger. When he met my finger, he looked at me and then clamped down so hard that my finger broke. I depressed the trigger on the one-shot and nothing happened. Gerry shrieked louder, and the razor came out of my flesh, then swung back immediately, and I clenched my eyes shut and depressed the trigger frantically three times. And Gerry's hand exploded. And so did mine. The razor hit the ice by my knee as I dropped the one shot and fire roared up the electrical tape and gasoline on Gerry's arm and caught the wisps of Danielle's hair. Gerry threw his head back and opened his mouth wide and bellowed in ecstasy. I grabbed the razor, could barely feel it because the nerves in my hand seemed to have stopped working. I slashed into the electric tape at the end of the shotgun barrel, and Danielle dropped away toward the ice and rolled her head into the frozen sand. My broken finger came back out of the shotgun and Gerry swung the barrels toward my head. The twin shotgun bores arced through the darkness like eyes without mercy or soul, and I raised my head to meet them, and Gerry's wail filled my ears as the fire licked at his neck. Good-bye, I thought. Everyone. It's been nice. Oscar's first two shots entered the back of Gerry's head and exited through the center of his forehead and a third punched into his back. The shotgun jerked upward in Gerry's flaming arm and then the shots came from the front, several at once, and Gerry spun like a marionette and pitched toward the ground. The shotgun boomed twice and punched holes through the ice in front of him as he fell. He landed on his knees and, for a moment, I wasn't sure if he was dead or not. His rusty hair was afire and his head lolled to the left as one eye disappeared in flames but the other shimmered at me through waves of heat, and an amused derision shone in the pupil. Patrick, the eye said through the gathering smoke, you still know nothing. Oscar rose up on the other side of Gerry's corpse, Campbell Rawson clutched tight to his massive chest as it rose and fell with great heaving breaths. The sight of it-something so soft and gentle in the arms of something so thick and mountaineous-made me laugh. Oscar came out of the darkness toward me, stepped around Gerry's burning body, and I felt the waves of heat rise toward me as the circle of gasoline around Gerry caught fire. Burn, I thought. Burn. God help me, but burn. Just after Oscar stepped over the outer edge of the circle, it erupted in yellow flame, and I found myself laughing harder as he looked at it, not remotely impressed. I felt cool lips smack against my ear, and by the time I looked her way, Danielle was already past me, rushing to take her child from Oscar. His huge shadow loomed over me as he approached, and I looked up at him and he held the look for a long moment. How you doing, Patrick?" he said and smiled broadly. And, behind him, Gerry burned on the ice. And everything was so goddamned funny for some reason, even though I knew it wasn't. I knew it wasn't. I did. But I was still laughing when they put me in the ambulance.
Dennis Lehane
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root, And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured, Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders, This many summers in a sea of glory, But far beyond my depth. My high-blown pride At length broke under me and now has left me, Weary and old with service, to the mercy Of a rude stream that must forever hide me. Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate you. I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched Is that poor man that hangs on princes’ favors! There is betwixt that smile we would aspire to, That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin, More pangs and fears than wars or women have; And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, Never to hope again.
William Shakespeare (Henry VIII)
Bein’ human means judgin’ all the time,” said the voice behind him. “This and that, good and bad, making choices every day . . . that’s human.” “And are you so sure you make the right decisions?” “No. But I do the best I can.” “And hope for mercy, eh?” The bony finger prodded him in the back. “Mercy’s a fine thing, but judgin’ comes first. Otherwise you don’t know what you’re bein’ merciful about.
Terry Pratchett (Carpe Jugulum (Discworld, #23))
Wicked, to be sure.” He repeated the word as though tasting it, his gaze now following her finger's progress. “Perhaps you'd better punish me.” Good Lord, what next? “Punish you, indeed.” She advanced her finger just to the base of his erection and stopped. “Suppose I were to walk out of this room and leave you here alone until you remembered your decency. Would that be punishment enough?” He smiled as though he were teaching her chess and she'd just made a clever move. “Maybe.” His eyes came to her face, and wandered in leisurely, thorough fashion down her body and back to her still finger. “Or maybe you ought to touch yourself. Pleasure yourself, and force me to watch.” “Now I know beyond question that you've confused me with someone else.” Aplomb had company: his every shameless utterance was waking strange--or not so strange--sensations that spiraled from her core on out. “And I doubt you would take it as punishment, quite.” "Darling, I would take it as torture.” Again he twisted against his bonds, so much power at her mercy. “Because you'd taunt me with it, wouldn't you? You'd place yourself where I could nearly reach you. And you'd say things to inflame me, but never touch me at all. I'd have to lie here helpless, watching you give yourself what you won't take from me.” He sucked in a breath. “Start now, if you would.
Cecilia Grant (A Lady Awakened (Blackshear Family, #1))
Well, as for slavery…it is true that I should not like to be one myself, yet Nelson was in favour of it and he said that the country’s shipping would be ruined if the trade were put down. Perhaps it comes more natural if you are black…but come, I remember how you tore that unfortunate scrub Bosville to pieces years ago in Barbados for saying that the slaves liked it – that it was in their masters’ interest to treat them kindly – that doing away with slavery would be shutting the gates of mercy on the negroes. Hey, hey! The strongest language I have ever heard you use. I wonder he did not ask for satisfaction.’ ‘I think I feel more strongly about slavery than anything else, even that vile Buonaparte who is in any case one aspect of it…Bosville…the sanctimonious hypocrite…the silly blackguard with his “gates of mercy”, his soul to the Devil – a mercy that includes chains and whips and branding with a hot iron. Satisfaction. I should have given it him with the utmost good-will: two ounces of lead or a span of sharp steel; though common ratsbane would have been more appropriate.’ ‘Why, Stephen, you are in quite a passion.’ ‘So I am. It is a retrospective passion, sure, but I feel it still. Thinking of that ill-looking flabby ornamented conceited self-complacent ignorant shallow mean-spirited cowardly young shite with absolute power over fifteen hundred blacks makes me fairly tremble even now – it moves me to grossness. I should have kicked him if ladies had not been present.
Patrick O'Brian (The Wine-Dark Sea (Aubrey/Maturin, #16))
Hope is more than wishing things will work out. It is resting in the God who holds all things in his wise and powerful hands. We use the word hope in a variety of ways. Sometimes it connotes a wish about something over which we have no control at all. We say, “I sure hope the train comes soon,” or, “I hope it doesn’t rain on the day of the picnic.” These are wishes for things, but we wouldn’t bank on them. The word hope also depicts what we think should happen. We say, “I hope he will choose to be honest this time,” or, “I hope the judge brings down a guilty verdict.” Here hope reveals an internal sense of morality or justice. We also use hope in a motivational sense. We say, “I did this in the hope that it would pay off in the end,” or, “I got married in the hope that he would treat me in marriage the way he treated me in courtship.” All of this is to say that because the word hope is used in a variety of ways, it is important for us to understand how this word is used in Scripture or in its gospel sense. Biblical hope is foundationally more than a faint wish for something. Biblical hope is deeper than moral expectation, although it includes that. Biblical hope is more than a motivation for a choice or action, although it is that as well. So what is biblical hope? It is a confident expectation of a guaranteed result that changes the way you live. Let’s pull this definition apart. First, biblical hope is confident. It is confident because it is not based on your wisdom, faithfulness, or power, but on the awesome power, love, faithfulness, grace, patience, and wisdom of God. Because God is who he is and will never, ever change, hope in him is hope well placed and secure. Hope is also an expectation of a guaranteed result. It is being sure that God will do all that he has planned and promised to do. You see, his promises are only as good as the extent of his rule, but since he rules everything everywhere, I know that resting in the promises of his grace will never leave me empty and embarrassed. I may not understand what is happening and I may not know what is coming around the corner, but I know that God does and that he controls it all. So even when I am confused, I can have hope, because my hope does not rest on my understanding, but on God’s goodness and his rule. Finally, true hope changes the way you live. When you have hope that is guaranteed, you live with confidence and courage that you would otherwise not have. That confidence and courage cause you to make choices of faith that would seem foolish to someone who does not have your hope. If you’re God’s child, you never have to live hopelessly, because hope has invaded your life by grace, and his name is Jesus! For further study and encouragement: Psalm 20
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want; He makes me down to lie In pastures green; He leadeth me The quiet waters by. My soul He doth restore again, And me to walk doth make Within the paths of righteousness, E’en for His own name’s sake. Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale, Yet will I fear no ill; For Thou art with me, and Thy rod And staff my comfort still. My table Thou hast furnished me In presence of my foes; My head Thou dost with oil anoint, And my cup overflows. Goodness and mercy all my life Shall surely follow me; And in God’s house forevermore, My dwelling place shall be.
Anonymous
He took two quick steps forward, wrapped a hand around the back of my neck, and held me for his kiss. I hadn’t expected it—not while he was still so close to changing. I’m sure that’s why I didn’t pull out of his hold. The first touch of his lips was soft, tentative, asking where his hands had demanded. The man was diabolical. I could have resisted force, but the question of his kiss was an entirely different matter. I leaned into him because he asked with the light touch and the gentle withdrawal of his lips that begged me to follow where he led. The heat of his body, welcome in the over-cooled house, rewarded me as I leaned closer to him, as did the hard planes of his body, so I was drawn to press even tighter against him. He danced like that, too. Leading instead of pulling. It had to have been deliberate, something he worked at, because he was as dominant as they came—Alphas are. But Adam was more than just dominant: he was smart, too. And he didn’t play fair. Which is how he ended up against the wall with me plastered all over him when someone . . . Darryl, quietly cleared his throat. I jerked free and hopped back to the middle of the hallway. “I’ll just get Jesse’s clothes now,” I told the carpet on the floor and then took my red face into Jesse’s room and shut the door. I didn’t mind getting caught kissing, but that had been a lot more carnal than a kiss. Sometimes good hearing isn’t a blessing. “Sorry,” Daryl said, though his voice carried more amusement than apology. “I bet,” growled Adam. “Damn it. This has got to stop.” Darryl gave a full-throated laugh that lasted quite a while. I’d never heard him laugh like that. Darryl was pretty uptight usually. “Sorry,” he said again, sounding more apologetic this time. “Looked to me like you’d rather it not stop.” “Yeah.” Adam sounded tired. “I should have gone after her a long time ago.
Patricia Briggs (Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3))
I stared at the little white agates in my hand, delicate as moon drops. The mystery of God's love as I understand it is that God loves the man who was being mean to his dog just as much as he loves babies; God loves Susan Smith, who drowned her two sons, as much as he loves Desmond Tutu. And he loved her just as much when she was releasing the handbrake of her car that sent her boys into the river as he did when she first nursed them. So of course, he loves old ordinary me, even or especially at my most scared and petty and mean and obsessive. Loves me; chooses me. Remembering this helped, but here is what in fact saved me: Sam came over to see what I held in my palm, glared contemptuously at my small white pebbles, and then without missing a beat slapped the bottom of my hand so that the agates scattered. He ran off down the beach, laughing with glee. It surprised me so, this small meanness, that it made me catch my breath. Boy, I thought, is he going to be hard to place. When I was young I would have felt, What’s the point of trying to be good if the people who aren’t even trying get to be equally loved? Now I just picked up my pace and tried to catch up with that rotten Sam, because I don’t know much of anything for sure. Only that I am loved – as is
Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith)
PSALM 23 The LORD is my  dshepherd; I shall not  ewant. 2 He makes me lie down in green  fpastures. He leads me beside still waters. [1] 3 He  grestores my soul. He hleads me in ipaths of righteousness [2] for his  jname’s sake. 4 Even though I  kwalk through the valley of  lthe shadow of death, [3] I will  mfear no evil, for  nyou are with me; your  orod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You  pprepare a table before me in  qthe presence of my enemies; you  ranoint my head with oil; my scup overflows. 6 Surely [4] goodness and mercy [5] shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall  tdwell [6] in the house of the LORD uforever. [7]
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
The LORD is my  d shepherd; I shall not  e want. 2 He makes me lie down in green  f pastures. He leads me beside still waters. [1] 3 He g restores my soul. He h leads me in i paths of righteousness [2] for his j name’s sake. 4 Even though I  k walk through the valley of  l the shadow of death, [3] I will m fear no evil, for n you are with me; your o rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You  p prepare a table before me in  q the presence of my enemies; you  r anoint my head with oil; my s cup overflows. 6 Surely [4] goodness and mercy [5] shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall  t dwell [6] in the house of the LORD u forever. [7]
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
PSALM 23 The LORD is my  dshepherd; I shall not  ewant. 2 He makes me lie down in green  fpastures. He leads me beside still waters. [1] 3 He  grestores my soul. He hleads me in ipaths of righteousness [2] for his  jname’s sake. 4 Even though I  kwalk through the valley of  lthe shadow of death, [3] I will  mfear no evil, for  nyou are with me; your  orod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You  pprepare a table before me in  qthe presence of my enemies; you  ranoint my head with oil; my scup overflows. 6 Surely [4] goodness and mercy [5] shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall  tdwell [6] in the house of the LORD uforever. [7] The
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
Psalm of David. PSALM 23 The LORD is my  dshepherd; I shall not  ewant. 2 He makes me lie down in green  fpastures. He leads me beside still waters. [1] 3 He  grestores my soul. He hleads me in ipaths of righteousness [2] for his  jname’s sake. 4 Even though I  kwalk through the valley of  lthe shadow of death, [3] I will  mfear no evil, for  nyou are with me; your  orod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You  pprepare a table before me in  qthe presence of my enemies; you  ranoint my head with oil; my scup overflows. 6 Surely [4] goodness and mercy [5] shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall  tdwell [6] in the house of the LORD uforever. [7] The
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
Ah! Gentle, gracious Dove, And art thou grieved in me, That sinners should restrain thy love, And say, “It is not free: It is not free for all: The most, thou passest by, And mockest with a fruitless call Whom thou hast doomed to die.” They think thee not sincere In giving each his day, “ Thou only draw’st the sinner near To cast him quite away, To aggravate his sin, His sure damnation seal: Thou show’st him heaven, and say’st, go in And thrusts him into hell.” O HORRIBLE DECREE Worthy of whence it came! Forgive their hellish blasphemy Who charge it on the Lamb: Whose pity him inclined To leave his throne above, The friend, and Saviour of mankind, The God of grace, and love. O gracious, loving Lord, I feel thy bowels yearn; For those who slight the gospel word I share in thy concern: How art thou grieved to be By ransomed worms withstood! How dost thou bleed afresh to see Them trample on thy blood! To limit thee they dare, Blaspheme thee to thy face, Deny their fellow-worms a share In thy redeeming grace: All for their own they take, Thy righteousness engross, Of none effect to most they make The merits of thy cross. Sinners, abhor the fiend: His other gospel hear— “The God of truth did not intend The thing his words declare, He offers grace to all, Which most cannot embrace, Mocked with an ineffectual call And insufficient grace. “The righteous God consigned Them over to their doom, And sent the Saviour of mankind To damn them from the womb; To damn for falling short, “Of what they could not do, For not believing the report Of that which was not true. “The God of love passed by The most of those that fell, Ordained poor reprobates to die, And forced them into hell.” “He did not do the deed” (Some have more mildly raved) “He did not damn them—but decreed They never should be saved. “He did not them bereave Of life, or stop their breath, His grace he only would not give, And starved their souls to death.” Satanic sophistry! But still, all-gracious God, They charge the sinner’s death on thee, Who bought’st him with thy blood. They think with shrieks and cries To please the Lord of hosts, And offer thee, in sacrifice Millions of slaughtered ghosts: With newborn babes they fill The dire infernal shade, “For such,” they say, “was thy great will, Before the world was made.” How long, O God, how long Shall Satan’s rage proceed! Wilt thou not soon avenge the wrong, And crush the serpent’s head? Surely thou shalt at last Bruise him beneath our feet: The devil and his doctrine cast Into the burning pit. Arise, O God, arise, Thy glorious truth maintain, Hold forth the bloody sacrifice, For every sinner slain! Defend thy mercy’s cause, Thy grace divinely free, Lift up the standard of thy cross, Draw all men unto thee. O vindicate thy grace, Which every soul may prove, Us in thy arms of love embrace, Of everlasting love. Give the pure gospel word, Thy preachers multiply, Let all confess their common Lord, And dare for him to die. My life I here present, My heart’s last drop of blood, O let it all be freely spent In proof that thou art good, Art good to all that breathe, Who all may pardon have: Thou willest not the sinner’s death, But all the world wouldst save. O take me at my word, But arm me with thy power, Then call me forth to suffer, Lord, To meet the fiery hour: In death will I proclaim That all may hear thy call, And clap my hands amidst the flame, And shout,—HE DIED FOR ALL
Charles Wesley
PSALM 23 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2        He makes me lie down in green pastures.     He leads me beside still waters. [1] 3        He restores my soul.     He leads me in paths of righteousness [2]         for his name’s sake.     4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, [3]         I will fear no evil,     for you are with me;         your rod and your staff,         they comfort me.     5 You prepare a table before me         in the presence of my enemies;     you anoint my head with oil;         my cup overflows. 6    Surely [4] goodness and mercy [5] shall follow me         all the days of my life,     and I shall dwell [6] in the house of the LORD         forever. [7]
Anonymous (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (without Cross-References))
Any Justification that does not lead to Biblical sanctification and mortification of sinful desires is a false justification no matter how many Solas you attach to it”. “See that your chief study be about the heart, that there God’s image may be planted, and his interest advanced, and the interest of the world and flesh subdued, and the love of every sin cast out, and the love of holiness succeed; and that you content not yourselves with seeming to do good in outward acts, when you are bad yourselves, and strangers to the great internal duties. The first and great work of a Christian is about his heart.” ~ Richard Baxter Never forget that truth is more important to the church than peace ~ JC Ryle "Truth demands confrontation. It must be loving confrontation, but there must be confrontation nonetheless.” ~ Francis Schaeffer I am not permitted to let my love be so merciful as to tolerate and endure false doctrine. When faith and doctrine are concerned and endangered, neither love nor patience are in order...when these are concerned, (neither toleration nor mercy are in order, but only anger, dispute, and destruction - to be sure, only with the Word of God as our weapon. ~ Martin Luther “Truth must be spoken, however it be taken.” ~ John Trapp “Hard words, if they be true, are better than soft words if they be false.” – C.H. Spurgeon “Oh my brethren, Bold hearted men are always called mean-spirited by cowards” – CH Spurgeon “The Bible says Iron sharpens Iron, But if your words don't have any iron in them, you ain't sharpening anyone”. “Peace often comes as a result of conflict!” ~ Don P Mt 18:15-17 Rom 12:18 “Peace if possible, truth at all costs.” ~ Martin Luther “The Scriptures argue and debate and dispute; they are full of polemics… We should always regret the necessity; but though we regret it and bemoan it, when we feel that a vital matter is at stake we must engage in argument. We must earnestly contend for the truth, and we are all called upon to do that by the New Testament.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Romans – Atonement and Justification) “It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher “Truth bites and it stings and it has a blade on it.” ~ Paul Washer Soft words produce hard hearts. Show me a church where soft words are preached and I will show you a church of hard hearts. Jeremiah said that the word of God is a hammer that shatters. Hard Preaching produces soft hearts. ~ J. MacArthur Glory follows afflictions, not as the day follows the night but as the spring follows the winter; for the winter prepares the earth for the spring, so do afflictions sanctified, prepare the soul for glory. ~ Richard Sibbes “Cowards never won heaven. Do not claim that you are begotten of God and have His royal blood running in your veins unless you can prove your lineage by this heroic spirit: to dare to be holy in spite of men and devils.” ~ William Gurnall
Various
The LORD Is My Shepherd A Psalm of David.     PSALM 23 The LORD is my  d shepherd; I shall not  e want.         2 He makes me lie down in green  f pastures.     He leads me beside still waters. [1]         3 He  g restores my soul.     He  h leads me in  i paths of righteousness [2]         for his  j name's sake.     4 Even though I  k walk through the valley of  l the shadow of death, [3]         I will  m fear no evil,     for  n you are with me;         your  o rod and your staff,         they comfort me.     5 You  p prepare a table before me         in  q the presence of my enemies;     you  r anoint my head with oil;         my  s cup overflows.     6 Surely [4] goodness and mercy [5] shall follow me         all the days of my life,     and I shall  t dwell [6] in the house of the LORD          u forever. [7]
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
I don’t think we can separate the art from the artist, nor should we need to. I think we can look at a piece of art as the transformed or redeemed aspect of an artist, and marvel at the miraculous journey that the work of art has taken to arrive at the better part of the artist’s nature. Perhaps beauty can be measured by the distance it has travelled to come into being. That bad people make good art is a cause for hope. To be human is to transgress, of that we can be sure, yet we all have the opportunity for redemption, to rise above the more lamentable parts of our nature, to do good in spite of ourselves, to make beauty from the unbeautiful, and to have the courage to present our better selves to the world. The moon is high and yellow in the sky outside my window. It is a display of sublime beauty. It is also a cry for mercy — that this world is worth saving. Mostly, though, it is a defiant articulation of hope that, despite the state of the world, the moon continues to shine. Hope too resides in a gesture of kindness from one broken individual to another or, indeed, we can find it in a work of art that comes from the hand of a wrongdoer. These expressions of transcendence, of betterment, remind us that there is good in most things, rarely only evil. Once we awaken to this fact, we begin to see goodness everywhere, and this can go some way in setting right the current narrative that humans are shit and the world is fucked.
Nick Cave
If the Lord Allah lives only in the mosque, then to whom does the rest of the world belong? According to the Hindus, the Lord’s Name abides in the idol, but there is no truth in either of these claims.  || 1 ||   O Allah, O Raam, I live by Your Name. Please show mercy to me, O Master.  || 1 ||  Pause  ||   The God of the Hindus lives in the southern lands, and the God of the Muslims lives in the west. So search in your heart — look deep into your heart of hearts; this is the home and the place where God lives.  || 2 ||   The Brahmins observe twenty-four fasts during the year, and the Muslims fast during the month of Ramadaan. The Muslims set aside eleven months, and claim that the treasure is only in the one month.  || 3 ||   What is the use of bathing at Orissa? Why do the Muslims bow their heads in the mosque? If someone has deception in his heart, what good is it for him to utter prayers? And what good is it for him to go on pilgrimage to Mecca?  || 4 ||   You fashioned all these men and women, Lord. All these are Your Forms. Kabeer is the child of God, Allah, Raam. All the Gurus and prophets are mine.  || 5 ||   Says Kabeer, listen, O men and women: seek the Sanctuary of the One. Chant the Naam, the Name of the Lord, O mortals, and you shall surely be carried across.  || 6 || 2 ||   PRABHAATEE:  First, Allah created the Light; then, by His Creative Power, He made all mortal beings. From the One Light, the entire universe welled up. So who is good, and who is bad?
Sant Singh (Guru Granth Sahib)
Dear Mama: The reason I didn’t write last Sunday was because I was out of town. My friend Pound invited me to spend Saturday and Sunday with him … His parents are very nice people and have always been exceptionally kind to me. Mrs. Pound had prepared a fine meal … After supper Pound and I went to his room where we had a long talk on subjects that I love yet have not time to study and which he is making a life work of. That is literature, and the drama and the classics, also a little philosophy. He, Pound, is a fine fellow; he is the essence of optimism and has a cast-iron faith that is something to admire. If he ever does get blue nobody knows it, so he is just the man for me. But not one person in a thousand likes him, and a great many people detest him and why? Because he is so darned full of conceits and affectation. He is really a brilliant talker and thinker but delights in making himself just exactly what he is not: a laughing boor. His friends must be all patience in order to find him out and even then you must not let him know it, for he will immediately put on some artificial mood and be really unbearable. It is too bad, for he loves to be liked, yet there is some quality in him which makes him too proud to try to please people. I am sure his only fault is an exaggeration of a trait that in itself is good and in every way admirable. He is afraid of being taken in if he trusts his really tender heart to mercies of a cruel crowd and so keeps it hidden and trusts no one.
William Carlos Williams
If people have no respect for God, no love for their Maker, I would ask the question another way: Why not pillage, rape, persecute and murder? If it feels good, and they can get away with it, why not? If God is dead or does not exist, as these people believe, why are not all things permitted? Why should they restrain themselves? Because it’s just wrong? Because it’s not the way civilized people behave? Because what goes around comes around? Because they’ll end up feeling terrible inside? Within tidy circles of properly socialized and reasonable people, such appeals can seem like they actually have the power to restrain people from doing what they otherwise feel like doing. But in the real world outside the philosophy seminar room, oppressors frankly don’t care that you think it’s just wrong. Who are you, they ask, to foist your random moral intuition on them? Who are you to tell them or the lords of the Third Reich what civilized people should and should not do? If what goes around tends to come around, then there’s no moral problem, only a practical problem of making sure it doesn’t come around to you. They think, Fine, if being brutal makes you feel terrible inside, then don’t do it. But it makes me feel powerful, alive, exhilarated and masterful, so quit whining — unless you want to try to stop me. This description of a dark Nietzschean world of self-will — a vacuum devoid of moral authority or spiritual resources for good — used to sen excessively melodramatic to me. But then I got out more. The world is truly full of brutal oppression because humans have rejected their Maker, the source of all goodness, mercy, compassion, truth, justice, and love.
Gary A. Haugen (Good News About Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting World)
Our acceptance with God is sure only through His beloved Son, and good works are but the result of the working of His sin-pardoning love. They are no credit to us, and we have nothing accorded to us for out good works by which we may claim a part in the salvation of our souls. Salvation is God’s free gift to the believer, given to him for Christ’s sake alone. The troubled soul may find peace through faith in Christ, and his peace will be in proportion to his faith and trust. He cannot present his good works as a plea for the salvation of his soul. But are good works of no real value? Is the sinner who commits sin every day with impunity, regarded of God with the same favor as the one who through faith in Christ tries to work in his integrity? The Scripture answers, ‘We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should work in them.’ In His divine arrangement, through His unmerited favor, the Lord has ordained that good works shall be rewarded. We are accepted through Christ’s merit alone, and the acts of mercy, the deeds of charity, which we perform, are the fruits of faith; and they become a blessing to us; for men are to be rewarded according to their works. It is the fragrance of the merit of Christ than makes our good works acceptable to God, and it is grave that enables us to do the works for which He rewards us. Our works in and of themselves have no merit. When we have done all that it is possible for us to do, we are to count ourselves as unprofitable servants. We deserve no thanks from God. We have only done what it was our duty to do, and our works could not have been performed in the strength of our own sinful nature. The Lord has bidden us to draw nigh to Him, and He will draw nigh to us; and drawing nigh to Him, we receive the grace by which to do those good works which will be rewarded at His hands.
Ellen Gould White
We are praying to the God of our people, whom we call Hashem, literally, “the Name.” The true name for God is devastatingly holy and evocative; to utter it would represent a death wish, so we have safe nicknames for him instead: the Holy Name, the One, the Only, the Creator, the Destroyer, the Overseer, the King of All Kings, the One True Judge, the Merciful Father, Master of the Universe, O Great Architect, a long list of names for all his attributes. For the sake of this divinity I must surrender myself each morning, body and soul; for this God, my teachers say, I must learn silence so that only his voice can be heard through me. God lives in my soul, and I must spend my life scrubbing my soul clean of any trace of sin so that it deserves to host his presence. Repentance is a daily chore; at each morning prayer session we repent in advance for the sins we will commit that day. I look around at the others, who must sincerely believe in their inherent evil, as they are shamelessly crying and wailing to God to help them expunge the yetzer hara, or evil inclination, from their consciousness. Although I talk to God, it is not through prayer. I talk to him in my mind, and even I will admit that I do not come to God humbly, as I should. I talk to him frankly, as I would to a friend, and I’m constantly asking him for favors. Still, I feel like God and I are on pretty good terms, relatively speaking. This morning, as everyone sways passionately around me, I stand calmly in the sea of young girls, asking God to make this day a bearable one. I’m very easy to pick on. The teachers know I’m not important, that no one will defend me. I’m not a rabbi’s daughter, so when they get angry, I’m the perfect scapegoat. I make sure never to look up from my siddur during prayer, but Chavie Halberstam, the rabbi’s daughter, can elbow her friend Elky to point out the toilet paper stuck to the teacher’s shoe and it’s as if nothing happened. If I so much as smirk, I’m singled out immediately. This is why I need God on my side; I have no one else to stick up for me.
Deborah Feldman (Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots)
APRIL 14 You can rest in God’s care. If he freely offered up his Son for you, will he forget you now? It is the irrefutable and comforting logic of redemption, so powerfully captured by Paul in Romans 8:31–39: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Now, it simply defies redemptive logic to allow yourself at any moment in your life to think that God would go to the extent that he has gone to provide you with salvation and then lose you along the way. If he controlled nature and history so that at the right time Jesus came to live, die, and rise again on your behalf; if he worked by grace to expose you to the truth and gave you the heart to believe; and if he now works to bring the events of the universe to a final glorious conclusion, does it make any sense to think that he would fail to provide you with everything you need between your conversion and your final resurrection? Paul is arguing that God’s gift of and sacrifice of his Son is your guarantee that he will grace you with every good thing you need until you are finally free of this broken world and with him forever in eternity. You do not have to wonder about God’s presence or his care. You do not have to fear that he will leave you on your own. You do not have to wonder if he will be there for you in your moment of need. When you give way to these fears, you commit an act of gospel irrationality. If he gave you Jesus, he will give you along with him everything you need.
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
Mrs Vane glanced at her [daughter], and with one of those false theatrical gestures that so often become a mode of second nature to a stage-player, clasped her in her arms. At this moment the door opened, and a young lad with rough brown hair came into the room… Mrs Vane fixed her eyes on him, and intensified the smile. She mentally elevated her son to the dignity of an audience. She felt sure that the tableau was interesting. ‘You might keep some of your kisses for me, Sibyl, I think,’ said the lad, with a good-natured grumble… James Vane looked into his sister’s face with tenderness. ‘I want you to come out with me for a walk, Sibyl. I don’t suppose I shall ever see this horrid London again. I am sure I don’t want to.’ ‘My son, don’t say such dreadful things,’ murmured Mrs Vane, taking up a tawdry theatrical dress, with a sigh, and beginning to patch it. She felt a little disappointed that he had not joined the group. It would have increased the theatrical picturesqueness of the situation… ‘Come, Sibyl,’ said her brother, impatiently. He hated his mother’s affectations… He was conscious also of the shallowness and vanity of his mother’s nature, and in that saw infinite peril for Sibyl and Sibyl’s happiness. Children being by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them… After some time, he thrust away his plate, and put his head in his hands. He felt that he had a right to know. It should have been told to him before, if it was as he suspected. Leaden with fear, his mother watched him. Words dropped mechanically from her lips. A tattered lace handkerchief twitched in her fingers. When the clock struck six, he got up, and went to the door. Then he turned back, and looked at her. Their eyes met. In hers he saw a wild appeal for mercy. It enraged him. ‘Mother, I have something to ask you,’ he said. Her eyes wandered vaguely about the room. She made no answer. ‘Tell me the truth. I have a right to know. Were you married to my father?’ She heaved a deep sigh. It was a sigh of relief. The terrible moment, the moment that night and day, for weeks and months, she had dreaded, had come at last, and yet she felt no terror. Indeed in some measure it was a disappointment to her. The vulgar directness of the question called for a direct answer. The situation had not been gradually led up to. It was crude. It reminded her of a bad rehearsal.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Waiting on God doesn’t mean sitting around and hoping. Waiting means believing he will do what he’s promised and then acting with confidence. Waiting on God is not at all like the meaningless waiting that you do at the dentist’s office. You know, he’s overbooked, so you’re still sitting there more than an hour past your scheduled appointment. You’re a man, but you’re now reading Family Circle magazine. You’ve begun to read the article titled “The 7 Best Chicken Recipes in the World.” When you’re a man and you’re getting ready to tear a chicken recipe out of Family Circle magazine because the recipe sounds so good, you know that you have been waiting too long! But waiting on God is not like that. Waiting on God is an active life based on confidence in his presence and promises, not a passive existence haunted by occasional doubt. Waiting on God isn’t internal torment that results in paralysis. No, waiting on God is internal rest that results in courageous action. Waiting is your calling. Waiting is your blessing. Every one of God’s children has been chosen to wait, because every one of God’s children lives between the “already” and the “not yet.” Already this world has been broken by sin, but not yet has it been made new again. Already Jesus has come, but not yet has he returned to take you home with him forever. Already your sin has been forgiven, but not yet have you been fully delivered from it. Already Jesus reigns, but not yet has his final kingdom come. Already sin has been defeated, but not yet has it been completely destroyed. Already the Holy Spirit has been given, but not yet have you been perfectly formed into the likeness of Jesus. Already God has given you his Word, but not yet has it totally transformed your life. Already you have been given grace, but not yet has that grace finished its work. You see, we’re all called to wait because we all live right smack dab in the middle of God’s grand redemptive story. We all wait for the final end of the work that God has begun in and for us. We don’t just wait—we wait in hope. And what does hope in God look like? It is a confident expectation of a guaranteed result. We wait believing that what God has begun he will complete, so we live with confidence and courage. We get up every morning and act upon what is to come, and because what is to come is sure, we know that our labor in God’s name is never in vain. So we wait and act. We wait and work. We wait and fight. We wait and conquer. We wait and proclaim. We wait and run. We wait and sacrifice. We wait and give. We wait and worship. Waiting on God is an action based on confident assurance of grace to come.
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
Breanne, I'm asking you nicely to please reconsider. Mom and Dad are coming to the game. They have a suite reserved and Mom is expecting you." Jayson almost sounded as if he were begging. I wasn't buying it. "Take Belinda or one of those other women," I huffed. "I don't do much in the leather department. I'm a vegetarian, remember?" "Mom loves that about you." "I'm sure she does. Her son, however, finds me grossly inadequate and walks away whenever he gets a chance. As much as I like your mother, I don't feel good about stringing her along. I'm just a front for you—admit it." "Bree, I'll invite Hank to come, too. I promise one of us will be with you." "Sure. That sounds so comfortable," I said. "Your mother will wonder what the hell is going on when Hank pays more attention than you do. Frankly, I don't want anything from either of you." Jayson was still trying to convince me to go to the basketball game the following evening, and he'd shown up at my front door to do it. I'd been grumpy ever since I'd come back after saving Teeg San Gerxon's ass. Sure, it would put the Campiaan Alliance in chaos, but for a blink, or maybe half a blink—I'd considered saving Stellan and his brothers and leaving Teeg behind to be flayed and swallowed by a sandstorm that had destroyed most of Thelik. "What can I possible do to convince you to come? Donate to Mercy Crossings or some other charity? What?" He'd arrived at my front door as if he'd been invited. I made him stand at the door instead of inviting him in. "Give Trina a raise. That car she's driving really needs to be retired." "What?" Jayson almost shouted. "Okay, the price just went up. Buy her a new car." Did I realize he'd take the bait? No. "All right. I agree, that piece of crap needs to go to the salvage yard. I'll buy her a new car." "A good one. She doesn't want a TinyCar, I know that much." "You think I'd let anybody out of the driveway in one of those things? I saw yours and almost gagged." "But since I'm nobody important to you, I can drive whatever the hell I want," I pointed out. "Besides, I got my car from a vending machine. Put in a dollar and it dropped out. It was too bad, too—I wanted a soda." The corners of Jayson's mouth threatened to turn up. Schooling his face, he said, "I never pegged you for an extortionist," instead. "I never pegged you for an asshole, either, but disappointment abounds. Sell that Mercedes you have and buy four decent cars with the proceeds. See? Everybody's happy." "That's a Mercedes McLaren," Jayson howled. "Then buy eight decent cars." "If you weren't so smart and my mother didn't like you so much," Jayson threatened. "You'd what? Have one of those bigger, taller, better-endowed women beat me up? Jayson Rome, feel free to bring anybody you want against me. They won't last ten seconds." "You'll come to the game? I still plan to invite Hank. I usually sit courtside, but since Dad's coming and bringing Mom," Jayson didn't finish. "Just don't make an ass out of yourself this time." I shut the door in his face before he could sputter a reply.
Connie Suttle (Blood Trouble (God Wars, #2))
In Romans 12:4-8, Paul writes about gifts: “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.” Recognize that the gifts inside you are not only for you; just as the gifts inside other people around you are not only for them. We are meant to help each other. God designed us this way on purpose! All being members of one body, our successes are shared — there is no need to be threatened by another person’s gift. Use your gifts, and encourage the people in your life to use their gifts as well. You will be blessed as a result! Unfortunately, one thing that keeps us from asking for help or taking advantage of the talents in people around us is pride. Never allow pride to keep you from asking for counsel when it is needed! 1 Corinthians 12:20 is another passage about gifts: “now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ ” We need each other, and joining our gifts together will result in a much stronger body. If you have time, read 1 Corinthians 12:4-20. Reflect on how there can be unity in the diversity of gifts if we use our different gifts properly. Determine that you will not be threatened by anyone else’s gifts! Esther was not afraid of the gifts in the people around her. Let’s see how she responds to the wisdom of others today. And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women’s quarters, to learn of Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her. Esther 2:11 Every day, Mordecai goes to the palace gates to inquire after Esther and learn of what was happening to her. He goes to the palace gates with purpose. He paces in front of the women’s court until he has learns the day’s news about Esther. Even though she is no longer under his roof, he stills feels a strong responsibility toward her, and acts accordingly. He is a faithful man, and has set a great example before Esther. The news that he hears concerning Esther daily must be good: her inward beauty and submission to authority are two of the many wonderful traits that God placed in her so that she will be effective in Persia. Even though Esther is in an unfamiliar place and experiencing “firsts” every day in the palace, God is making sure she has what she needs. Esther did not need to feel nervous! She needed wise counsel; it has been provided for her in Mordecai and Hegai. She needs a pleasant and patient personality; that has been being developed in her by the Lord for many years. In your own life, you are constantly undergoing change and growth as you are submitting to the Lord. Whether or not you can see it, God is continually preparing you for what lies ahead so that you will have what you need when you need it. The God who loves you so much knows your future, and He is preparing you today for what you will experience tomorrow. Esther is receiving what she needs as well. She is in the palace undergoing her beauty preparations — a twelve month process! Even through this extended period of time, Mordecai is still at the palace gates every day (the Bible does not say that he stopped his concern for her at any point). It is an entire
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
You’re all I want, Jane.” As he stroked her, he used his other hand to brush hers away so he could unfasten his own trouser buttons. “The only woman I ever cared about.” “You’re the only man Iever cared about.” She undulated against his fingers, begging for him with her body. “Why do you think…I waited for you so long?” “Not long enough, apparently,” he muttered, “or you wouldn’t have gotten yourself engaged to Blakeborough.” He tugged at her nipple with his teeth, then relished her cry of pleasure. “I only…did it because I was…tired of waiting.” She arched against his mouth. “Because you clearly weren’t…coming back for me.” “I was sure you hated me.” At last he got his trousers open. “You acted like you hated me still.” “I did.” Her breath was unsteady. “But only because…you tore us apart.” He shifted her to sit astride him. “And now?” Flashing him a provocative smile he would never have dreamed she had in her repertoire, she unbuttoned his drawers. “Do I look like I hate you?” His cock, so hard he thought it might erupt right there and embarrass him, sprang free. “You look like…like…” He paused to take in her lovely face with its flushed cheeks, sparkling eyes, and lush lips. Then he swept his gaze down to her breasts with their brazen tips, displayed so enticingly above the boned corset and her undone shift. He then dropped his eyes to the smooth thighs emerging from beneath her bunched-up skirts. Shoving the fabric higher, he exposed her dewy thatch of curls, and a shudder of anticipation shook him. “You look like an angel.” She uttered a breathy laugh. “A wanton, more like.” Taking his cock in her hand, she stroked it so wonderfully that he groaned. “Would an angel do this?” His cock was a rod of iron. “Jane…” He covered her hand to stay it, but she ignored his attempt. “I love it when you can’t control yourself,” she whispered. “I love having you at my mercy. You have no idea…how much I enjoy seeing Dom the Almighty brought low.” He barely registered her words. What she was doing felt so good. So bloody damned good. If she stroked him much more… “I want to be inside you.” He gripped her wrist. “Please, Jane…” Her sensuous smile faltered. “You’ve never said ‘please’ to me before. Not in your whole life.” “Really?” Had he only ever issued orders? If so, no wonder she’d refused him last night. Perhaps it was time to show her she didn’t have to seduce him to gain control. That he could give up his control freely…to her, at least. “Then let me say it now. Please, Jane, make love to me. If you don’t mind.” She stared at him. “I…I don’t know what you mean.” He nodded to his cock, which looked downright ecstatic over the idea. “Get up on your knees and fit me inside you.” Realizing he’d just issued yet another order, he added, “Please. If you want.” Jane got that sultry look on her face again. Like the little seductress she was rapidly showing herself to be, she rose up and then came down on him. By degrees. Very slow degrees. He had trouble breathing. “Am I hurting you?” Her smile broadened as she shimmied down another inch. “Not really.” Stifling a curse, he clutched her arms. “You just…enjoy torturing me.” “Absolutely,” she said and moved his hands to cover her breasts. He was more than happy to oblige her unspoken request, happy to thumb her nipples and watch as her lovely mouth fell open and a moan of pure pleasure escaped her. His cock swelled, and he thrust up involuntarily. “Please…” he said hoarsely. “Please, Jane…” With a choked laugh, she sheathed herself on him. Then her eyes went wide. “Oh, that feels amazing.” “It would feel more amazing if you…would move,” he rasped, though the mere sensation of being buried inside her was making him insane. When she arched an eyebrow, he added, “Please.” “I could get to like this,” she said teasingly. “The begging.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
May 30 A Prayer about Healing Words The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Prov. 12:18 NIV) Gracious Jesus, I love words. I especially love the way you use words to bring me healing, freedom, and hope. You never shame me with words. You never manipulate me with words. You never hurt me with words. You never flatter me, but you do bring great encouragement. You never repeat my failures to others; you only bring my sin and brokenness to the throne of grace. You never say too much or too little. You neither mince words nor waste words. You alone have the words of life. My prayer is simple yet necessary: grant me greater stewardship of my words, Jesus. As you speak to me, please speak through me. I’m painfully aware that my words can bring great harm and death, even as they can be a source of hope and life (Prov. 18:21). If I’m not careful, my words can have the effect of gangrene (Eph. 4:29). You tell me that my words are a sure reflection of what’s filling my heart: “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). So no mere promise to avoid gossip, idle chatter, reckless words, or coarse jesting will be enough. I must constantly be preaching the gospel to my heart. May the overflow of your grace be obvious to all. I want my tongue to be a scalpel for healing, Jesus, not a hammer for harm. I pray in your merciful name. Amen.
Scotty Smith (Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith)
Praise to the Lord       1   Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!   O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!   All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;   Join ye in glad adoration!     2   Praise to the Lord, Who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth,   Shieldeth thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!   Hast thou not seen how thy desires e'er have been   Granted in what He ordaineth?     3   Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;   Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.   Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,   If with His love He befriend thee.
J.J. (SDA Hymnal)
PSA23.1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. PSA23.2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. PSA23.3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. PSA23.4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. PSA23.5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. PSA23.6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE with VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
PSA23.1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. PSA23.2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. PSA23.3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. PSA23.4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. PSA23.5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. PSA23.6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE with VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
February 14 MORNING “And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.” — 2 Kings 25:30 JEHOIACHIN was not sent away from the king’s palace with a store to last him for months, but his provision was given him as a daily pension. Herein he well pictures the happy position of all the Lord’s people. A daily portion is all that a man really wants. We do not need tomorrow’s supplies; that day has not yet dawned, and its wants are as yet unborn. The thirst which we may suffer in the month of June does not need to be quenched in February, for we do not feel it yet; if we have enough for each day as the days arrive we shall never know want. Sufficient for the day is all that we can enjoy. We cannot eat or drink or wear more than the day’s supply of food and raiment; the surplus gives us the care of storing it, and the anxiety of watching against a thief. One staff aids a traveller, but a bundle of staves is a heavy burden. Enough is not only as good as a feast, but is all that the veriest glutton can truly enjoy. This is all that we should expect; a craving for more than this is ungrateful. When our Father does not give us more, we should be content with his daily allowance. Jehoiachin’s case is ours, we have a sure portion, a portion given us of the king, a gracious portion, and a perpetual portion. Here is surely ground for thankfulness. Beloved Christian reader, in matters of grace you need a daily supply. You have no store of strength. Day by day must you seek help from above. It is a very sweet assurance that a daily portion is provided for you. In the word, through the ministry, by meditation, in prayer, and waiting upon God you shall receive renewed strength. In Jesus all needful things are laid up for you. Then enjoy your continual allowance. Never go hungry while the daily bread of grace is on the table of mercy.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening—Classic KJV Edition: A Devotional Classic for Daily Encouragement)
PSA23.1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. PSA23.2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. PSA23.3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. PSA23.4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. PSA23.5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. PSA23.6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Anonymous (King James Bible Touch)
JANUARY 31 Never Give Up Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. LUKE 18:1 NIV Jesus told his disciples the story of a widow who pled her case to an unjust, uncompassionate judge. Though the judge didn’t care about her, she kept bringing her case to him, again and again. He finally made sure she was treated justly, simply to be rid of her. If an unmerciful judge can show mercy just to get rid of someone, how much more will our merciful God show mercy and grace and compassion? He loves us. He wants only good things for us. This doesn’t mean we need to utter countless, meaningless repetitions in order for God to act. We do, however, need to keep our faith. We need to walk in an attitude of constant prayer, knowing that God is as mindful of our needs as we are. He wants us to trust Him, and persistent prayer is one way we demonstrate that trust. When we pray, we show Him that we know He’s the One with the answer. His answers to our prayers may be delayed. They may not be the answers we want. But we must never give up on His goodness. We can trust His heart and know that in the bigger picture, His plans for us are always, always good. Dear Father, thank You for listening and acting on my behalf. I trust You, even when I don’t understand. Amen.
Anonymous (Daily Wisdom for Women - 2014: 2014 Devotional Collection)
For what seemed like half the night, Mirelle laid waste to anything Gen might be thinking good about himself and pointed out repeatedly that she was before Eldaloth himself when it came to Gen getting permission to do anything besides stay within earshot of the Chalaine. He was fairly sure she would have impugned his parentage for all of his faults if he had any parentage to speak of. At one point, he thought she might actually make up some parents for him just for that purpose, but mercifully, she did eventually tire and tell him to get out of her sight.
Brian Fuller (Duty (The Trysmoon Saga, #2))
When you’re travelling in different countries and people don’t necessarily speak the language you do, you quickly realize it doesn’t really matter whether you say “Thank you” or “Tousen takk” or “Merci” or “Danke schoen”—as long as you say something and smile, your gratitude will be appreciated and the other person will smile back. So when I got off the bus at the stop for the train station kindly indicated by the driver to whom I’d shown my Eurail pass and then gestured helplessly out at the streets, I smiled at him and said “Your children have fleas.” And sure enough, he smiled back, nodding happily.
Jass Richards (This Will Not Look Good on My Resume)
Never Give Up Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. LUKE 18:1 NIV Jesus told his disciples the story of a widow who pled her case to an unjust, uncompassionate judge. Though the judge didn’t care about her, she kept bringing her case to him, again and again. He finally made sure she was treated justly, simply to be rid of her. If an unmerciful judge can show mercy just to get rid of someone, how much more will our merciful God show mercy and grace and compassion? He loves us. He wants only good things for us. This doesn’t mean we need to utter countless, meaningless repetitions in order for God to act. We do, however, need to keep our faith. We need to walk in an attitude of constant prayer, knowing that God is as mindful of our needs as we are. He wants us to trust Him, and persistent prayer is one way we demonstrate that trust. When we pray, we show Him that we know He’s the One with the answer. His answers to our prayers may be delayed. They may not be the answers we want. But we must never give up on His goodness. We can trust His heart and know that in the bigger picture, His plans for us are always, always good. Dear Father, thank You for listening and acting on my behalf. I trust You, even when I don’t understand. Amen.
Anonymous (Daily Wisdom for Women - 2014: 2014 Devotional Collection)
April 24 MORNING “And because of all this we make a sure covenant.” — Nehemiah 9:38 THERE are many occasions in our experience when we may very rightly, and with benefit, renew our covenant with God. After recovery from sickness when, like Hezekiah, we have had a new term of years added to our life, we may fitly do it. After any deliverance from trouble, when our joys bud forth anew, let us again visit the foot of the cross, and renew our consecration. Especially, let us do this after any sin which has grieved the Holy Spirit, or brought dishonour upon the cause of God; let us then look to that blood which can make us whiter than snow, and again offer ourselves unto the Lord. We should not only let our troubles confirm our dedication to God, but our prosperity should do the same. If we ever meet with occasions which deserve to be called “crowning mercies” then, surely, if He hath crowned us, we ought also to crown our God; let us bring forth anew all the jewels of the divine regalia which have been stored in the jewel-closet of our heart, and let our God sit upon the throne of our love, arrayed in royal apparel. If we would learn to profit by our prosperity, we should not need so much adversity. If we would gather from a kiss all the good it might confer upon us, we should not so often smart under the rod. Have we lately received some blessing which we little expected? Has the Lord put our feet in a large room? Can we sing of mercies multiplied? Then this is the day to put our hand upon the horns of the altar, and say, “Bind me here, my God; bind me here with cords, even for ever.” Inasmuch as we need the fulfillment of new promises from God, let us offer renewed prayers that our old vows may not be dishonoured. Let us this morning make with Him a sure covenant, because of the pains of Jesus which for the last month we have been considering with gratitude.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening—Classic KJV Edition: A Devotional Classic for Daily Encouragement)
I find myself wanting to lead the charge for justice, sword in hand and screaming a Viking battle cry.” She frowned. “You did have battle cries, didn’t you?” He laughed. “Some of the best. Remind me the next time we’re up on the mountain, and I’ll teach you a few. I’d do it now, but we’d probably upset the neighbors.” “Do I get my own horned helmet?” He looked a bit insulted. “My tribe never wore anything like that. But if you want to, you can borrow one of my knives to wave around and menace the local fauna.” He was making fun of her. She just knew it. “A knife? Why not a sword?” “Because you couldn’t lift one of my swords, much less swing it. One of my longer knives would be the perfect size for a little bit like you to brandish while you practice screaming oaths in old Norse.” From the way he chuckled, he obviously found the whole idea hilarious. She loved making her husband laugh. From Judith’s memories and her own, she knew that Ranulf had gone way too many years with no joy in his life. That didn’t mean she wouldn’t extract a little revenge. She tweaked a lock of his hair. “Well, I might not be able to lift your sword, my Viking love, but if you keep making fun of me, I’ll flatten you against the nearest wall and keep you there. How would you like that?” The blue flames were back. “I’d like it just fine, if you promise to take advantage of me while I’m at your mercy.” Now that was an image to be savored. “Are you sure I can’t play with your sword? Right now?” She basked in the warm approval in his eyes. “Only if you promise to take really good care of it.” She slid down to kneel between his legs. “Believe me, I plan to.
Alexis Morgan (Dark Warrior Unbroken (Talions, #2))
Lord Charles?" "Amy."  He smiled sleepily and rose up on one elbow, the blanket sliding down one shoulder.  "Good morning." Temporary silence.  Charles was unaware that Amy had a friend with her, and he was totally oblivious to the sight he presented to the two girls, his hair tousled by sleep, his pale blue eyes clear as aquamarine as a shaft of sunlight drove through the window and caught him full in the face.  A sighted man would, of course, have squinted; Charles did not, and instead, Mira and Amy were treated to a brilliant, wide-open view of clear, intelligent eyes, romantically down turned at the outer corners and fringed by long straight lashes tinged with gold. "Hell and tarnation above, Amy, ye sure weren't jokin'!  He's bleedin' gorgeous!" "Mira!" cried Amy, horrified. Charles was hard-pressed to hide his amusement.  He knew, of course, or had at least suspected, that Amy had a girlish infatuation for him, and he'd tried his best not to embarrass her by calling attention to it.  He determined not to do so now. "And whom do I have the pleasure of addressing?" he asked, still supporting himself on one elbow and blinking the sleep from his eyes. Mira, standing there with her mouth open, was transfixed by that slow, deliberate blink.  In a heartbeat, she saw what Amy had described:  studied thoughtfulness, kindness, compassion.  The way the man lowered those long eyelashes over those translucently clear eyes, then slowly brought them back up again, did something funny to her insides.  Cripes, no wonder Amy was smitten! "Mira Ashton, patriot," she announced.  "I'm Amy's friend.  She tells me ye're a blasted Brit who took it upon himself to be merciful to Will, so I guess I'll take it upon myself to be merciful to you.  Besides, I hear ye're being nice to Amy, and since everyone else in this house treats her like donkey dung, I figger the least I can do is be civil to ye — redcoat or not." "Mira!" Amy gasped. "Well, it's true.  Where are those two bleedin' leeches, anyhow?" Despite himself, and his irritation with both the girl's language and her rather vexing use of the word "Brit," Charles got to his feet and bowed, his spirits suddenly quite buoyed.  If Amy had friends like this, maybe he shouldn't be worrying about her, after all. "Still in bed, I daresay," he said.
Danelle Harmon (The Beloved One (The De Montforte Brothers, #2))
YHWH is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of YHWH for ever.
William Struse (The 13th Prime: Deciphering the Jubilee Code (The Thirteenth #2))
Twenty-Third Psalm:   YHWH is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of YHWH for ever.
William Struse (The 13th Enumeration)
was absolute, having built layers of snitches to watch his snitches to watch his crews. Politicians, police, even some members of the FBI were firmly in his back pocket, and he kept them there by bribery, extortion, and good old-fashioned threats of violence. Old Man O’Shea, as he was referred to by the locals, showed no mercy. To anyone. He ruled with an iron fist and had no softness within him for anyone, including his own sons. Kieran and Conall were born to him from his wife, Fiona, a raven-haired, blue-eyed beauty he’d met on the Emerald Isle. Rumor had it he beat her, degraded her, and eventually killed her spirit, which then killed her body. Paddy made sure nothing could ever be proven. Fionn and Shannon were his children by his lifelong mistress, Gillian. At least, it was suspected she was his longtime mistress. She hadn’t actually been seen for years. His sons had not been raised by their mothers. When each boy turned six, he was taken and raised
Reana Malori (Conall (Irish Sugar #2))
I’m not sure what comes after life… maybe Heaven? But then again, who says I’m good enough to get there?
Mercy Amare (I Need You (The Kihanna Saga Book 5))
Without constant restoration we are not ready for the perpetual assaults of hell, or the stern afflictions of heaven, or even for the strifes within. When the whirlwind shall be loosed, woe to the tree that has not sucked up fresh sap, and grasped the rock with many intertwisted roots. When tempests arise, woe to the mariners that have not strengthened their mast, nor cast their anchor, nor sought the haven. If we allow the good to grow weaker, the evil will surely gather strength and struggle desperately for the mastery over us; and so, perhaps, a painful desolation, and a lamentable disgrace may follow. Let us draw near to the footstool of divine mercy in humble entreaty, and we shall realize the fulfillment of the promise, "Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening: Daily Readings)
Psalm 23 Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life. Psalm 23:6 The end of Psalm 23 sums up its message, that goodness and mercy follows us throughout life and into eternity. The old divines called them God’s two sheepdogs that constantly circle, herd, tend, and protect us every day. Taken altogether, Psalm 23 promises: God’s Peace in Life’s Meadows: “The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the quiet waters. He renews my life.” His Plan for Life’s Pathways: “He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake.” His Presence in Life’s Valleys: “Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me.” (Here the pronoun changes to the first person: In verses 1–3, it’s “He leads . . . He restores.” In verses 4–6, it’s “You are with me; Your rod and Your staff.”) His Provision on Life’s Tableland: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” His Promises for Life’s Journey: “Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD as long as I live.” Goodness and mercy all my life shall surely follow me; And in God’s house forevermore my dwelling place shall be. —The Scottish Psalter
Robert J. Morgan (All to Jesus: A Year of Devotions)
CARDINAL WOLSEY So farewell to the little good you bear me. Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness! This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth The tender leaves of hopes; to-morrow blossoms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon him; The third day comes a frost, a killing frost, And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root, And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured, Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders, This many summers in a sea of glory, But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride At length broke under me and now has left me, Weary and old with service, to the mercy Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me. Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye: I feel my heart new open'd. O, how wretched Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours! There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to, That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin, More pangs and fears than wars or women have: And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, Never to hope again
William Shakespeare
Uggggh …” groaned Alex, clutching her stomach. She had one more cake left in her pile, but her opponent had one more cake in his pile as well, and he’d already started to eat it. Alex’s eyes were rolling into the back of her head, and her skin was even paler than usual. “Alex, you can give up if you want to,” said Dave. “Don’t make yourself sick.” “Yes, we won’t think any less of you, dear girl,” said Porkins. “I’ll think less of you,” said Carl. “Carl!” said Dave. “What?” said Carl, shrugging. “I’m only being honest.” The elderly cowman was halfway through his last cake, and Alex hadn’t even started hers. It’s all over, thought Dave. There’s no way that Alex can catch up. Alex looked like she was going to pass out at any moment, but then, finding strength from somewhere, she picked up her final cake and opened her mouth wide. FLOOOONCH!!!!!! To Dave’s amazement, Alex shoved the entire cake into her mouth. Her cheeks were so stuffed full of cake that her head was about twice as wide as it usually was. Then, with a large gulp, she swallowed the cake down whole. She opened her mouth to show everyone that the cake was gone. “We have a winner!” The cowman hosting the competition shouted. Everyone in the inn let out an enormous cheer. The elderly cowman dropped the remainder of his cake on the table, admitting defeat. “Well done, dear girl!” Porkins said to Alex. “Yeah, well done, Alex,” said Carl. “If ever I need someone to eat a big pile of cakes, you’ll be the first person I ask.” “I still think this whole competition was completely foolish,” said Spidroth. “Nevertheless, Alex, I congratulate you on your victory. Like a true warrior, you bested all your opponents, showing them no mercy.” “Uggghh …” groaned Alex. Then she fainted, her face hitting the table. “Alex!” yelled Dave, rushing over to her. “Is anyone here a healer?” “I am,” said a cowman with grey fur, rushing over. “What’s wrong with her, Doctor?” asked Porkins. “My diagnosis is that she’s eaten too many cakes,” said the cowman healer, lifting Alex’s head. “I could have told you that,” said Carl, rolling his eyes. “What should we do with her?” asked Dave. “I think a good night’s rest should do the trick,” said the healer. “Are you sure you’re a healer?” said Carl. “None of this advice seems very professional.
Dr. Block (Dave the Villager and Surfer Villager: Crossover Crisis, Book One: An Unofficial Minecraft Adventure (Dave Villager and Dr. Block Crossover, #1))
Listen, this is how great your confidence should be! It should make you believe that purgatory is not made for you, but only for the souls that failed to recognize God’s merciful love or who doubted its power to purify. With those who strive to respond to this love, Jesus is ‘blind’ and ‘does not count’ [their sins], or rather, in order to purify them, he counts only on this fire of charity that ‘covers all faults’ and, especially, on the fruits of his perpetual Sacrifice. Yes, despite your little infidelities, you can hope to go straight to heaven, because the good Lord desires it even more than you do, and he will surely give you what you have hoped to receive of his mercy. Your confidence and your resignation are what he will reward; his justice, which knows your frailty, has been divinely arranged so as to achieve this. As you rely on this assurance, just make sure even more that he does not lose any love!
Robert Sarah (God or Nothing: A Conversation on Faith)
If today the plague is in your midst, that is because the hour has struck for taking thought. The just man need have no fear, but the evildoer has good cause to tremble. For plague is the flail of God and the world His threshing-floor, and implacably He will thresh out His harvest until the wheat is separated from the chaff. There will be more chaff than wheat, few chosen of the many called. Yet this calamity was not willed by God. Too long this world of ours has connived at evil, too long has it counted on the divine mercy, on God’s forgiveness. Repentance was enough, men thought; nothing was forbidden. Everyone felt comfortably assured; when the day came, he would surely turn from his sins and repent. Pending that day, the easiest course was to surrender all along the line; divine compassion would do the rest. For a long while God gazed down on this town with eyes of compassion; but He grew weary of waiting, His eternal hope was too long deferred, and now He has turned His face away from us. And so, God’s light withdrawn, we walk in darkness, in the thick darkness of this plague.
Albert Camus (The Plague)
Psalms 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.
Anonymous
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 23:2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. 23:3He restoreth my soul; He guideth me in straight paths for His name's sake. 23:4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. 23:5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 23:6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Anonymous (JPS Tanakh (student edition))
I also realized that God was not only just, but merciful. He knew we were weak and that we all found it easier to be stinkers than good sons of God, not only as kids but all through our lives. That clear picture, I’m sure, would be important to any kid who hates a teacher, or resents a person in charge. This picture of my relationship to man and God was what helped relieve me of bitterness and rancor and a desire to get even.
William J. Bennett (The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories)
Montreal October 1704 Temperature 55 degrees “Remember how in Deerfield there was nobody to marry? Remember how Eliza married an Indian? Remember how Abigail even had to go and marry a French fur trader without teeth?” Mercy had to laugh again. It was such a treat to laugh with English friends. “Your man doesn’t have teeth?” “Pierre has all his teeth. In fact, he’s handsome, rich and an army officer. But what am I to do about the marriage?” Sarah was not laughing. She was shivering. “I do not want that life or that language, Mercy, and above all, I do not want that man. If I repeat wedding vows, they will count. If I have a wedding night, it will be real. I will have French babies and they will be Catholic and I will live here all my life.” Sarah rearranged her French scarf in a very French way and Mercy thought how much clothing mattered; how changed they were by what they put on their bodies. “The Catholic church won’t make you,” said Mercy. “You can refuse.” “How? Pierre has brought his fellow officers to see me. His family has met me and they like me. They know I have no dowry, but they are being very generous about their son’s choice. If I refuse to marry Pierre, he and the French family with whom I live will be publicly humiliated. I won’t get a second offer of marriage after mistreating this one. The French family will make me a servant. I will spend my life waiting on them, curtseying to them, and saying ‘Oui, madame.’” “But surely ransom will come,” said Mercy. “Maybe it will. But what if it does not?” Mercy stared at her feet. Her leggings. Her moccasins. What if it does not? she thought. What if I spend my life in Kahnawake? “What if I stay in Montreal all my life?” demanded Sarah. “A servant girl to enemies of England.” The world asks too much of us, thought Mercy. But because she was practical and because there seemed no way out, she said, “Would this Frenchman treat you well?” Sarah shrugged as Eben had over the gauntlet, except that when Eben shrugged, he looked Indian, and when Sarah shrugged, she looked French. “He thinks I am beautiful.” “You are beautiful,” said Eben. He drew a deep breath to say something else, but Nistenha and Snow Walker arrived beside them. How reproachfully they looked at the captives. “The language of the people,” said Nistenha in Mohawk, “is sweeter to the ear when it does not mix with the language of the English.” Mercy flushed. This was why she had not been taken to Montreal before. She would flee to the English and be homesick again. And it was so. How she wanted to stay with Eben and Sarah! They were older and would take care of her…but no. None of the captives possessed the freedom to choose anything or take care of anyone. It turned out that Eben Nims believed otherwise. Eben was looking at Sarah in the way every girl prays some boy will one day look at her. “I will marry you, Sarah,” said Eben. “I will be a good husband. A Puritan husband. Who will one day take us both back home.” Wind shifted the lace of Sarah’s gown and the auburn of one loose curl. “I love you, Sarah,” said Eben. “I’ve always loved you.” Tears came to Sarah’s eyes: she who had not wept over her own family. She stood as if it had not occurred to her that she could be loved; that an English boy could adore her. “Oh, Eben!” she whispered. “Oh, yes, oh, thank you, I will marry you. But will they let us, Eben? We will need permission.” “I’ll ask my father,” said Eben. “I’ll ask Father Meriel.” They were not touching. They were yearning to touch, they were leaning forward, but they were holding back. Because it is wrong? wondered Mercy. Or because they know they will never get permission? “My French family will put up a terrible fuss,” said Sarah anxiously. “Pierre might even summon his fellow officers and do something violent.” Eben grinned. “Not if I have Huron warriors behind me.
Caroline B. Cooney (The Ransom of Mercy Carter)
PSALM 13 Trust in God’s Unfailing Mercy Ps. 13.1 How much longer, Lord, will you forget that I’m here? It seems like forever! How long will you turn your face from me? Ps. 13.2 How long must I struggle with my thoughts about you? There’s not a day when I have peace in my soul. How long will my enemies be honored above me? Ps. 13.3 Consider my distress and answer me, Lord. I plead with you to encourage me, or I will surely die. Ps. 13.4 And if I die now, my enemies will say, “We’ve finally gotten rid of him.” They’ll be happy and celebrate my passing. Ps. 13.5 But I’ll continue to trust in your unfailing mercy. My heart will rejoice in your salvation. Ps. 13.6 I break out in song whenever I think of how good you have been to me.
Jack Blanco (The Clear Word)
God knows what you too are facing. He sees well the brokenness that is all around you. He is not in a panic, wondering how he’ll ever pull off his plan with all these obstacles in the way. Don’t be discouraged. God has you exactly where he wants you. He knows just how he will use what makes you afraid in order to build your faith. He is not surprised by the troubles you face, and he surely has no intention of leaving you to face those things on your own. He stands with you in power, glory, goodness, wisdom, and grace. He can defeat what you can’t, and he intends these troubles to be not enemies that finish you but tools of grace that transform you.
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
Leaving the Connecticut River March 8, 1704 Temperature 40 degrees Thou shalt not kill. Ruth lay down and inched forward until she could look over the edge of the cliff to see what had happened. The force of Otter’s fall had brought snow and rock down upon him. One hand stuck out, and part of his face. But I say unto you which hear. Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you…And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other. What could Jesus have been thinking when he said that? This enemy was the murderer and slaughterer of innocent women and children. Ruth was not going to love him, she would never do anything good unto him, and certainly she was not going to offer him yet another chance to strike her in the face. She rejoiced that this enemy had no choice about living or dying, any more than her father and brother had had a choice about living or dying. She thought of her mother, giving water to the wounded French officer, and for that gesture, being left behind. She wondered how Mother felt now, alone in a world where her men had died to save her while she helped their enemies. The savage was alive, trying with that one hand to dig himself free. A rim of ice fell like knives upon him. Ruth cried out. The Indian made no sound. Ruth scuttled backward, out of his sight. She could go get help. Or let him die. It wasn’t fair! It wasn’t supposed to be Ruth who had to love the enemy. That was just a verse you repeated in meeting. She was not going to take it seriously, loving her enemy. But it was the Word of the Lord. The Twenty-third Psalm moved through her mind, as warm and sure as summer wind. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. If she broke the commandment and failed to love her enemy, she would never lie down in green pastures. Not on earth, not in her heart, and not in death. Ruth worked her way through tangles of thin saplings and around boulders. She slid down rock faces. Sweating and sobbing over terrain that could not have been made by God, only by devils, she reached Otter at last. Her bad lungs sounded like sand rubbed on floors. She dug him out, not carefully. She might have to save him but she would not spare him pain. He was bleeding where ice had sliced him and by now her mittens were shredded, and their blood mingled, flecked scarlet on white snow. When he was finally on his feet, she said, “It’s not because I wanted to, you know.” Otter took a short careful step and paused in pain, Ruth thought, though pain did not show on his face. “It’s so I won’t be a killer like you,” she said. He snapped a branch in his strong hands to use as a cane. Laboriously, they made their way up the cliff, crawling part of the way. “Actually, I hate you,” said Ruth. Huge hot tears fell from her eyes and she knew that hate was not as simple as that. Nor were the commandments.
Caroline B. Cooney (The Ransom of Mercy Carter)
Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) Psalm 108, verse 2 Awake, psaltery and harp! I will rouse the dawn! Psalm 100 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord, He is God. It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting. And His truth endureth to all generations. Part II Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters, He restoreth my soul, He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, For His name's sake. Yea, though I walk Through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, For Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff They comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me In the presence of mine enemies, Thou annointest my head with oil, My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy Shall follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. Psalm 2, verses 1-4 Why do the nations rage, And the people imagine a vain thing The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and against His annointed. Saying, let us break their bonds asunder, He that sitteth in the heavens Shall laugh, and the Lord Shall have them in derision! Psalm 131 Lord, Lord, My heart is not haughty, Nor mine eyes lofty, Neither do I exercise myself In great matters or in things Too wonderful for me to understand. Surely I have calmed And quieted myself, As a child that is weaned of his mother, My soul is even as a weaned child. Let Israel hope in the Lord From henceforth and forever. Psalm 133, verse 1 Behold how good, And how pleasant it is, For brethren to dwell Together in unity.
Anonymous
The book of Psalms was the ancient hymnal of the Jewish people. Most of the psalms were probably written for use in worship; one finds among them songs of praise, thanksgiving, adoration, devotion, doubt, and complaint. Martin Luther called the Psalter “a Bible in miniature.” Psalm 23, a hymn of trust in God, is probably the most widely loved. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
William J. Bennett (The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories)
29. “I…Will Draw All Men unto Me” “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”—John 12:32 My soul, it is blessed and refreshing to the faith of God’s children to behold in their almighty Redeemer the same properties as are attributed to the Father and the Spirit, and more especially in the points which concern their personal salvation. The Lord Jesus Christ told the Jews that none could come to Him except the Father, Who had sent Him, should draw them (Joh 6:44). And in the same chapter, He ascribes unto the Holy Spirit “the quickening51 power” which draws to Christ (v 63). But that His own sovereign power and Godhead is also included in this act of grace, He here teaches us by describing Whose love and grace it is that sinners are drawn by! Precious Lord Jesus, let my eyes be ever unto You for the quickening, reviving, restoring, comforting, and all healing graces that You now are exalted—as a Prince and a Savior—to give unto Your people. And dearest Lord, I beseech You, let my views of You and my meditation of You, in this most endearing character, be sweet in the consideration also that You, as the Head of Your church and people, must be the Head of all spiritual, life-giving influences. Surely, blessed Jesus, the head cannot be happy if the members be not made blessed; the source and fountain of all goodness must send forth streams to impart of its overflowing fullness. And is it not for this very purpose that, as the God-man Mediator,52 the Father has given You power over all flesh, so that You should give eternal life to as many as the Father has given You (Joh 17:2)? And will not Jesus delight to dispense all blessings to His people—to His chosen who are the purchase of His blood, the gift of His Father, and the conquests of His grace? I feel my soul warmed with the very thought! I say to myself, “Did my Lord and Savior say, when upon earth, that He was anointed to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the broken in heart, and to give out of His fullness grace for grace (Luk 4:18; Joh 1:16-17)? And did my Lord say, moreover, that when He was lifted up, He would draw all men unto Him? And shall I not feel the drawing, the compelling graces of His Spirit, bringing my whole heart, soul, and spirit into an unceasing desire after Him, unceasing longing for Him, and everlasting enjoyment of Him? Precious, blessed Lord Jesus, let the morning, noon-day, and evening cry of my heart be in the language of the church53 of old, and let the cry be awakened by Your grace, and answered in Your mercy: “Draw me, we will run after thee...we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love” (Song 1:4).
Robert Hawker (Thirty-One Meditations on the Gospel)
If war is brought to you, then it is incumbent upon you to show no mercy. Surely you will be shown none, and you will be a traitor to your people and as good as their enemy if you let any clemency slip its bounds, for your people will pay for your mistake with their lives.
Terry Goodkind (Stone of Tears)
As a human makes paradise his paradise with goodness, mercy, love, and worship: In the same way, a human makes life fragrant and respectful with truth, morality, justice, and equality; otherwise, this life and after this life also will become harmed and rebuked; as accordingly, Al Quran: "Surely human is in loss;" you destine it your destiny.
Ehsan Sehgal
I moved before I could stop myself, leaning forward and resting my forearms on my knees as I drank in the sight of her. I knew I needed to stop, to pull my gaze from the bare skin of her waist and the tanned flesh there which ached for the touch of my tongue. I shouldn't have been staring at the curves of her body or thinking any of the things which were currently circling through my mind, but fuck. She looked like the most perfect kind of seduction. I dragged my eyes up and over every inch of her body, lingering on her mouth for a beat too long before finding her eyes. My fist clenched as I met her green gaze and it felt like a shot of power snapped from her soul right into mine. I was held captive there, wanting her and hating her for it. Hating her for all the reasons I knew I had to hate her, but just fucking wanting her all the same. Fuck. There was a challenge in her gaze which needed stamping out and as she raised her chin a fraction, still maintaining eye contact with me, I couldn't help but think up all of the best ways that I'd like to bring her under my control. The Dragon in me was shifting beneath my skin at the challenge she presented, hungering for the chance to put her in her place beneath me. And ideally if I could get her there willingly, then I could show her how good it could feel to be beneath me anyway. ... “Those aren’t our names,” the object of my attention interrupted in a hard voice which made me both pay attention and want to make her submit to me even more than I had before she opened that pretty mouth of hers. “I’m Tory and that’s Darcy.” ... “Can you feel that power?” Caleb asked, leaning towards the girls with a smile playing around his lips and I knew in that moment what he was planning. I could practically feel the hunger in him and I had to force back a growl which rose in my throat at the thought of him biting them. Biting her. I wasn't sure what it was about Roxy which kept making me focus on her. Maybe it was the fire in her eyes or the way she didn't even seem to give a fuck about being thrown at our mercy. Or maybe I just really, really wanted in her panties. But either way, I was filled with the desire to tell Caleb and the others to back the fuck off and leave her to me. ... Caleb dutifully stepped up, smiling his pretty boy smile in that way that got girls panties to combust and pissing me off even more as he dragged his eyes over my girl. “Earth focus, House Terra. And terror is exactly what you'll get if you don't fit in.” Roxy muttered something to her sister as she shot a venomous look Caleb's way, and I was pleased to see that she at least didn't seem to be inclined to turn all blood whore for him. If she'd started panting over the idea of him biting her again, I had to admit I'd probably have thrown down with him here and now. I didn't know why it was pissing me off so much, but it was. I'd claimed her the moment I saw her, and I knew that with his Vampire hearing he'd been damn well aware of it. Which meant this was a challenge to my command. And of course, I should have expected that because there wasn't a single one of my brothers who would bow to the others, but it still got me all kinds of pissed at him. ... She turned to look at me with bored eyes, her gaze dropping to my boots before crawling all the way up my body in a languid, lazy inspection that made my fucking dick jerk in my pants.(Darius POV)
Caroline Peckham (The Awakening as Told by the Boys (Zodiac Academy, #1.5))
It’s Fae on Fae, man, what are you thinking?” he asked with a frown and I could only glower as I looked back to the fight, forcing myself to remain still. It might have made me ache to hold back but he was right, I couldn’t get involved in a fight between two Fae. And if it had been anyone else, I never would have considered it. But Roxy always made me want to break the rules. “You jumped up, crown touting, cock sucking, whore!” Mildred slammed her fist into Roxy’s face again, not even bothering to use magic as she screamed insults in her face which included way too many references to me being her beloved. “What’s the matter, Mildred?” Roxy snarled. “Is it just that you can’t suck cock properly with that mis-matched jaw of yours or is it that you know Darius is only marrying you because his father is forcing him to?” “When I take my beloved to the bedroom he will be screaming so loudly that he won’t even remember the name Vega!” Mildred howled as she punched Roxy again. “Yeah, screaming in horror,” Roxy spat and I almost fucking laughed aside from the fact that she was about to get her face smashed in by that beast of a girl. “We’ll see if he’s so tempted by you when I’m done pulverising that pretty face of yours and I cut your perky tits off for good measure!” Mildred howled. “Not the tits!” Tyler Corbin gasped from the other side of the crowd as he filmed the whole thing. My heart pounded. Roxy might have been tough, but Mildred was four times the size of her. She needed to fight back with magic if she was going to stand a chance, but as she swung her head forward and cracked the bridge of Mildred’s nose with a savage headbutt, I got the feeling she wasn’t going to use it. Roxy swung a fist into Mildred’s throat to follow it before driving her knee up between her legs as hard as she could. “Ooo right in the vag!” Tyler called and a laugh caught in my throat. “Yes, Tor!” Darcy screamed as she pushed her way to the front of the crowd. “Show her how we fight where we come from!” As Mildred reared back, Roxy lunged forward, rolling them over so that she was on top before swinging her fists down into Mildred’s ugly face with a brutality that made my heart race. She was wild and vicious, blood pissing down her face from her own injuries as she used my stolen rings to batter Mildred again and again. I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t end up with Dragons imprinted all over her face from her own injuries as she used my stolen rings to batter Mildred again and again. I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t end up with Dragons imprinted all over her face from the shape of the jewellery. Mildred gave as good as she got, punching Roxy in the sides, the chest, even trying to bite her fist as she punched her. “Holy shit,” Seth breathed as he nuzzled against my arm. “This would be so hot if it wasn’t, you know, Mildred. But if I imagine her being literally any other girl then I’d be so turned on right now.” I swallowed a lump in my throat as I refused to agree out loud, but he was right. There was something about Roxy as she fought like that, her lip curled back with determination and absolutely no mercy in her. They might have been fighting like mortals having a bar brawl, but with a crown on her head and blood painting her flesh, I didn’t think she’d ever looked more like the Savage King’s daughter before. She really was a Fae Princess. And I liked it. Mildred cursed and screamed, throwing fists like sledgehammers so hard that I was pretty sure I heard ribs cracking, but Roxy wasn’t going to give in. She swung her arm back one final time and with a scream of rage, she hit Mildred so hard in her pug face that she blacked out. A laugh tumbled from my lips before I could stop it and Roxy looked up at me with a wild determination in her eyes as she grinned like a damn warrior. (Darius POV)
Caroline Peckham (Cursed Fates (Zodiac Academy, #5))